Every morning we seem to groan at the report of another hot and humid day.
Daily we are bombarded with messages of global warming and changing weather patterns. But how much has changed in the last four decades?
I think technology has affected us all.
We get instant information. We see mudslides taking out houses before the homeowner knows. We get weather forecasts that we could only dream of a few years ago.
The average temperature in July is 90 degrees. That takes into account many years including a record 107 degrees in 1930. The humidity hasn’t changed much.
It’s always hot and muggy in July. No new news there.
But why does it seem we all complain about the heat now?
I don’t remember ever complaining about the heat as a kid in Tallapoosa County, but nowadays it seems It’s brutal. I believe the biggest change in technology for weather in the last four decades is the proliferation of air conditioning.
As a kid I remember swinging on the front porch with my grandparents. The swing was at the corner of a wrap around porch, always in the shade with a breeze often aided with a fan. The creak of the chain and slow-rocking motion almost always led to an afternoon nap.
Today we complain it’s too hot to sleep.
I remember jumping creeks, playing in the woods, riding bicycles. All required some effort but a quick run, bike or a ‘fall’ into the creek would cool you off.
You learned quickly not to wear your good clothes, those were reserved for Sundays and church.
Everyone drank from a water hose.
Today we complain the water tastes bad or we have to have a certain brand of water or additive to drink it.
Air conditioners have brought us inside to more technology.
Screens were far fewer then too. I only remember two televisions in my parents’ house. Both sets of grandparents had one each. That makes four screens serving at least eight people.
Fast forward to today everyone seems to have at least five screens at their disposal.
No one can watch the same television, so each person in the house has one. Each person has a phone with its screen instead of a rotary dial phone.
I remember being special when my parents got a wireless phone — you could now take the phone and its extendable aluminum antenna to another room.
But be careful, that antenna would easily break.
There are computers today and multiples. Any home likely has at least one desktop computer and two laptops.
Many people now have tablets too.
Technology has taken away many of our face-to-face conversations.
Today we Facetime parents and grandparents instead of those conversations on the porch, under the shade tree or around the dinner table. Now we send texts and emails too.
Gone are the days of face-to-face conversations.
I can remember learning I was in total disagreement with someone on a subject and still be friends. You respected differences and could tell someone wasn’t trying to be mean, they just didn’t agree with you but they respected your view point.
Today a few words seen on a screen can quickly be taken out of context.
So how do we fix it, this matter of digging our heels and totally not respecting another’s opinion?
It’s quite easy. It’s in our history.
We need to stop the thumb typing and put down our screens and start having conversations over lunch, dinner and coffee again.
Doing so will stop this heat of discourse that continues to get hotter.
Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.