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    Thursday
    May032007

    Dear God, What I Have I Done?

    Bell_Big.jpgThis is an excerpt from the diary of Alexander Graham Bell from November 4, 1888.

    The weather has turned cold here in Boston, but it seems even colder in this house. No one talks to one another. No one is writing letters to friends or family, and no one is receiving any letters. Instead everyone is talking on the telephone. I fear that this is my doing, my fault. After all I'm the one who introduced that damn telephone to the masses, and thanks to me it seems our civilization might be crumbling beneath our feet! But please know and tell future generations, that I envisioned the telephone as helping people, helping our society. What a damn fool I was.

    Little Elsie May tells me, "Father, I don't need to write letters to my friends. Not when I can just pick up the phone and talk to them. Don't you know that print is dead?" My heart sank when I heard those words. My daughter and all their friends are turning into some sort of teen-age monsters. They talk for hours and hours about absolutely nothing, nothing! And imagine, there's a whole generation of girls out there doing the same. Dear God, what have I done?

    Lord help us if these chatty women ever get the right to vote, because that will be it for us. They will just chat us into submission before systematically ridding us of all our vices. NO. For the sake of mankind, I have to do something. Because we men need our vices like we need the air and booze. And as much as it pains me, I know what I have to do. I have to destroy The Bell Telephone Company and all the telephones.

    I have no idea how I'm going to do it, but it's got to be done. The American way of life depends on it. The American family is in danger. Already, sit-down family dinners are a relic of another age. We are becoming more and more isolated, and soon we will become a cave-like population that never meets face to face. Does no one else see that we're evolving backwards? I am too disgusted to write any more. I only hope I have the strength to stop this train before it's too late.

    Bell didn't. He was caught many times trying to snap the phone lines, but in fact he was too weak to actually close the wire clippers. Eventually Bell quit trying. As his hearing went and his bank account grew Bell accepted the new technology.

     

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