“Sorry, I’m delayed; could you meet me an hour later – and on the southern side of the central station instead of in front of the town hall?” How often do you receive text messages or calls like this on your cell phone, when you have scheduled an appointment with a friend, your wife, husband or a colleague? I get them quite often – and I do also quite often change a detail about an appointment by sending an SMS or making a call.
Sometimes I get to consider that my grandmother and her generation did not have this option at all. I don’t think that they ever called the telephone exchange of the town and asked for a connection just to say “I’m sorry mate, but I used too much time in the shower, please meet me an hour later.” Especially these last-minute-changes were not possible at all since nobody had a cell phone. If you’d already left home to meet somebody, there was no chance to tell them if you were delayed because of the traffic, a puncture of the car or running into someone, you wanted to chat with on your way. The only way to make sure that no one would be waiting for you, or even decide to leave the place since he/she didn’t find you at the arranged time and place, was to be there on time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone)
The older generations must have been much more reliable than we are nowadays. It is too easy for us to change our decisions owing to some current ‘interruptions’ and we seldom stick to the original appointment.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not complaining about the technological miracle; the invention of a portable telephone. With our little ‘pocket friend’ we are more flexible than ever and it is possible to communicate with friends and family no matter when and where we want to.
I just think that we should remember the fact that the opportunity to communicate fast and cheap is no excuse for changing appointments and letting other people waste their time waiting for us.