To listen to this post, please click here:TAPDANCE
While I hate to start with my punch line, it is this week’s photo…
This above-lettered phrase became the subject of this week’s post when I heard my husband laugh. The scrap of paper I’d scribbled it on had fallen from my pocket and he picked it up. It’s the locomotive and the caboose of a train of thought that runs this way:
It feels like an outright miracle that when we have questions nowadays, we have access to a beautiful instant mass of answers. I’m not even talking fumbling in fusty cubicles with microfilm and microfiche. Questions that might have occasioned a phonecall some years ago now only warrant not even a push of a button, but a simple tap for an answer.
Not a tap like one hammered into a maple tree, and the subsequent patient weeks as the pail fills. Not a tap born of years of sweaty practice that result in a crackling-clickety-rhythmic Ruby Keeler number. Not even the effort it takes to pull a mug of draft beer. Answers appear with the softest of taps: fingertip on screen.
Everything’s on tap now—music, movies, books, pictures, communication, friends themselves, it seems. Hot and cold running information, entertainment, communication available round the clock at our slightest whim. The genie seeps out with less effort than it takes to rub a lamp.
It means many answers no longer have to be violently wrested from life. But this also means that I might not call my piecrust friend for advice on finessing a bushel of peaches. Why “bother” her when I can get the answer online without disturbing her day?
Of course the genie won’t fill you in on the first tooth or the polished manuscript or the quirky cousin. The genie can’t pick up your child, mix you a mojito when you’re tapped out, or make you ache with uproarious laughter. The genie won’t ask you for any favors, but it can’t do you any, either. And it can’t volunteer your time, either.
With all due respect to the genie, many of life’s most meaningful answers arrive only in physical action and interaction. I’ll have more to say about online-life. For now, as we tap, tap, tap, let’s remember to tap the many delights of three-dimensional friendship. Take an action. Call a friend. Volunteer. Remember, even websites themselves exist because people take action.
Have you tapped or been tapped lately?
INCIDENTALLY: You can now read my very short story Off The Grid at Green Hills Literary Lantern. It’s a Women-on-Fire-like monologue taking place in Alaska.