Still Reaching Out to Touch Someone

On several occasions during the Olympics medal winners were observed to whip out their cell phones as soon as the final results were in to call home and let friends or family members know they had just won a medal. The information could get there through other channels (and maybe even faster if the event was broadcast live), of course, so it wasn’t always about the simple transmission of information. The fact is, it does a lot for a relationship when it comes right from the source and right away. And you get to say a lot when you pick a particular friend out as the one you call first. The fact that a cell phone is small enough to have on hand, that international plans make it relatively inexpensive to call halfway around the world, and, maybe, the fact that the events ARE being broadcast live, create an imperative for competitors to make that quick call to those who really matter. One can imagine a mother in the Ukraine saying “I can’t believe you let me find out about your gold medal on the TV news!” I think AT&T was just a little bit ahead of its time when it used to say, “reach out and touch somebody.”

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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