We used to search for glasses, keys and phone numbers. Now we also search for passwords. And yesterday my password search took me here, to the most undigital of places, my old Rolodex, where I used to keep a card with those pesky open sesames.
I never found the card, but I did spend a few minutes flipping through the Rolodex. It's dusty and neglected, poor thing. I haven't touched it for months, haven't used it for years. But oh, the memories it holds, the connections it made possible, the worlds it opened up.
There are editors' phone numbers, the contact information of long-forgotten sources, strings of numbers I once knew as well as my own. Each card tells a story. There's that infant sleep expert who took to calling me at all hours, including when I was in labor with my first child! There's a phone number for the Population Reference Bureau, which I just Googled to find a ticking world population clock (7, 718, 240, 013 — I mean 014, 015, 016 ...).
Before we swiped and tapped, we paged through and wore out. Most of these cards are bent and softened from frequent touching, tangible proof that they were used and treasured.
No one I know uses a Rolodex anymore. Now our contacts are scattered on various media, social and personal. Are we more connected now than we were then? The funny thing is, I don't think we are.
Labels: communicating, work, writing