Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

There’s No App for That May 4, 2013

I got something in the mail recently I couldn’t keep from sharing. As I’ve previously mentioned, I recently attended first communion celebrations for two of my favorite little people. While I was not allowed in either church, the messages of love, hope and peace filtered their way directly into my little doggie heart through the conversations that followed.

Thank YOUI was reminded of those messages this week when I received thank you notes from princesses Sophie and Abigail thanking my parents and I for our gifts of money and jewelry. Just as my name had been included on the invitations, my name was included on the notes thanking us for coming to be part of their special days. I can honestly say I was absolutely touched by the sincerity of gratitude in the priceless little people handwriting of Sophie and Abigail.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life,” author Melody Beattie writes. “It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

These written words have an unspoken power to ignite my imagination and feed my soul. But they also bring to mind something about the written word itself. It is dying amidst our technologically savvy culture and it breaks my heart.

Every time the newspapers get thinner and smaller, I know that also means there are less people on staff to do the reporting, editing and layout. While e-books are enabling more writers to dip their ink in the wonderful world of publishing, gizmos like tablets and e-readers are encouraging people to opt for a paperback-free way of the future. And with the millions of apps and games, Smartphones are helping people around the word stay “connected.” Connected to what? Certainly not to each other, when it’s more convenient to use technology.

Why call when you can text message? Why write when you can e-mail? Why browse a library when you can buy the book with a click of a button?

I’ll tell you why. There is one very important thing people who buy too far into the technology are missing: the context of emotion. The vocal tone of a sentence can drastically alter its meaning, and good intentions can be so easily misinterpreted for sarcasm. Albeit, the majority of tech-savvy folks know that ALL CAPS MEANS YOU’RE YELLING, but a yell is meant to be heard not read. Sure, you can put a smiley emoticon (or a winky face, or a kissing face, or an undecided face) at the end of a text message, but that doesn’t come close to the impact of any of those emotions experienced in person. The thought that goes into a handwritten letter or thank-you note is unmatched by the autocorrect and spell check of word processors.

All the teeny tiny happy faces in the world can’t replace a real one. You can’t give someone a hug via e-mail. Herein lies the problem with our reliance on modern technology. Power to the people who still write thank you notes, send paper cards to family members on birthdays and anniversaries, and who read the newspaper. Call me old school, but getting those special little envelopes in the mail this week brought to light a serious problem with our continuously evolving technological society. Let us really stay connected by remembering the power of a hug or kiss can’t be felt through a text message. I will always be a supporter of local libraries and book stores. And (perhaps most important of all) there is no app for gratitude.

Related Articles:

Peace Be With You – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/04/21/peace-be-with-you/

Hope In Gratitude – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/01/14/hope-in-gratitude/

 

38 Responses to “There’s No App for That”

  1. wonderful title, great message and writing syle- well said

  2. huntmode Says:

    As of this moment, I am first to comment – oorrraaahhhh! Despite this being a form of “texting,” I am in full agreement with you, Wiles. We are losing our social skills, our understanding of the need for real contact, not electronic. I’ve been grouching about this for years – standing in an elevator and watching people looking at a screen than their surroundings. Shouting on the phone personal info they would be mortified to reveal if they were conscious of their surroundings. Situational Awareness is how the military terms it. Humans need physical contact, as do their senses. Keep up the protests, Wiley. Best ~ HuntMode

    • I love your mention of the people more aware on what’s on their screens than of their surroundings. While I know what we do is a lot like “texting,” please know I cherish each and every message. 🙂 Lots of love to the whole HuntMode clan!

  3. Ogee Says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you!

  4. Shandra Says:

    Wonderful. Thank you.

  5. I love that I can always come and read Wiley’s blog for a smile. Thank you =)

  6. Couldn’t agree more, Wiley. There is nothing more personal than a birthday or thank you card. Such a shame to receive email or facebook wishes when a personally chosen and hand written card would convey real emotion.

    • Indeed! It makes me wish I had contact information for all of my favorite pals in the blogosphere to send these special notes of love and gratitude. 🙂

  7. Lyn Says:

    Wonderful post Wiley. I hope we never lose the art of handwritten letters and cards. They mean so much when they arrive unexpectedly in the mail 🙂

  8. catchatcaren Says:

    Your writing is so beautiful! You hit EVERY pet peeve of mine. I worked at a newspaper for 35 years (in Cleveland), moved to Michigan in 2001 and lost my job due to downsizing in 2007 (Why? because people are NOT reading newspapers). We live in a “quick fix” society and it often sickens me. People do not have the attention span that they did years ago, they don’t sit with a paper on sunday mornings.
    I REFUSE to buy a Kindle because I feel they are helping to put bookstores out of business and are responsible for libraries closing.
    I so agree with this: “All the teeny tiny happy faces in the world can’t replace a real one. You can’t give someone a hug via e-mail. Herein lies the problem with our reliance on modern technology. Power to the people who still write thank you notes, send paper cards to family members on birthdays and anniversaries, and who read the newspaper. Call me old school, but getting those special little envelopes in the mail this week brought to light a serious problem with our continuously evolving technological society. Let us really stay connected by remembering the power of a hug or kiss can’t be felt through a text message. I will always be a supporter of local libraries and book stores. And (perhaps most important of all) there is no app for gratitude.”

    • Hello friend. Let me thank you first and foremost for your words today. I appreciate your thought and response. Thank you for being you! Shine on, dear friend!

  9. I agree, no sms or app can give you the feeling to hold someone in your arms…

  10. So wise, Wiley. There is no app for gratitude, and it is the thing that matters most in a happy life. Mom once showed me a quote that said, “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” GAH! That’s why prayers of gratitude are so important around here! ….just in case….

    Love and licks of gratitude,
    Cupcake

    • Hello Cupcake!

      I LOVE the quote your mom shared with you. THANK YOU for sharing it with me. Pretty powerful stuff, I would say. I know it’s not as good as if we could hug and chase and play at the park, but I do hug you and love you so! Thanks for being you!

      Wiles

  11. I’m so glad to know there are still people who love and appreciate books. There is no substitute for the feel of a book in my hand, turning pages and getting so involved that I am there in the story. I don’t think I will buy a Kindle, even if I can store a lot of books on it without the weight. I suspect it is the older generations (Yikes, that’s me!) who are so attached to books. I always have a book in progress in the living room, bedroom and definitely in the car – I would be lost without them.

    I have been writing thank you notes to clients and they appreciate it – often they remark that it doesn’t happen very often and it is a treat. Wiley, I swear you are reading my mind. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    • Dear Lee! You don’t have to be an “older generation” to appreciate these little things. I know they are an increasingly lost art, but sometimes that is what makes art so darned special – it’s unique and unusual in modern society. Thank you for being you, for loving books, for supporting the local joints, and for caring enough to say so. Lots of love to you, dear Lee!

  12. Bold Conversations Says:

    Hello Wiley. I’m sure my puppy Finn would agree with you since he can never get enough hugs from his people friends. Thanks for visiting my blog and following. It served to bring me here. Best wishes.

    • Hello to you new friends! I’m so glad the blogosphere brought me to you, and your blog brought you to me. What a blessing! Thank you so much! I am so happy to have you in my life. Come back and visit me again soon!

  13. […] There’s No App for That | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  14. Basil Says:

    You are so wise!!

  15. Wiley-you are a very wise little dog-and I enjoyed your post very much. I look forward to reading more.
    Thank you too for visiting Little Dogs Laughed; Hubble, Jack Henry, Anna and I thank you for taking the time to visit.

    • Wow, what a fabulous compliment. Thank you for dropping by, and for the follow! And thank YOU for doing what you do on your blog! Lots of love to the whole blogging family!

  16. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both
    equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something that too few folks are
    speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

    • Wow. Well, rarely do I get a compliment like yours that absolutely makes my heart smile! My goal with this blog is to share joy, so please feel free to share your enthusiasm with others who might be looking for something like me. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, and for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

  17. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    Remember to say thank you from time to time. It pays dividends.


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