Twitter and SMS in the 1970s – cross generation communication?

With all this technology around us and the changing dynamics of the way people connect, it can be harder to stay in contact across generations.

When I was younger, I found myself at the (b)leading edge of technology, because I was very much into electronics and amateur radio. I was very lucky that my mother didnt know about the lethal voltages I was playing with, that on occasion threw me across the room. After all, I needed the extra power from the transmitter so that I could connect with friends across the other side of the world.

Most of my friends were a lot older than me. In fact; some of the oldest people I talked with held the original long distance radio communication records, which in many ways I think was a reflection of the imagination of kiwis and just how far New Zealand was from Europe.

One of my “ham radio“colleagues had his radio gear locked up in World War II as a potential communication tool to be used in emergencies. I was lucky to get some of the original components from him (hand made of course) that he had used to build his first communication equipment.

We had our own codes and language. As an example;

See you later     CUL
Be seeing you   BCNU
You’re                UR
Best regards     73
Love and kisses 88
(extracted from

Morse code itself, had started to be developed with the electro-magnetic telegraph in the 1830s. See Samuel Morse.

Other technologies like RTTY and Store and Forward were a precursor to what the world wide web became in the 1990s. And then, of course,  twitter and facebook were born.

What stopped me pursuing ham radio was the development of technology beyond what was possible to build in the home and my small role in the expansion of mobile telephone technology in China and the Philippines. I was being paid to do what my hobby had been.

My point here is that each stage in technological development brings out new technniques and new groupings of people. There is a common thread. People with a passion get together and find ways to communicate that are suited to their needs and goals. What emerges is always a development of what happened before. We should nurture what is developing through new communication technologies and strive to ensure that we can continue to connect across the barrier of age. Try age a communication barrier.

What do you think?

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