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“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”

– Joseph Priestley, 18th-century English theologian, philosopher and educator


“We seem to be the only two people actually talking to each other.”

I looked around the coffee shop. At least a dozen people occupied the other tables but my friend and fellow writer Ethel and I appeared to be the only ones communicating face to face. The other customers – many high school and college-aged – were communicating, but in a strictly technological sense. They were texting on cellphones or typing on laptop computers; most were plugged into MP3 players. Equally oblivious were those conversing with someone over a hands-free cellphone as though the person was sitting right there in front of them.


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