Gray-Bell squares off against Zuckerberg

Plenty of digital dust has been stirred up about the pros and cons of social media in journalism.  Surely the sands won’t be settling anytime soon.

As we wrap ourselves in this social media blanket, we risk losing sight of less glitzy technologies and their still-relevant effects.

A cell phone is just another iteration of an invention brought to life in the 1870s by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell.  History graced the latter.

That mobile version of Bell and Gray’s visions flourishes in today’s society, but how harmful are phones compared to the torrent of tweets and saturation of status updates?

I pocket-dialed a source today.

She hadn’t picked up the first time I called, and I was late for a brainstorm session with an editor.  I thought I heard voices from my pocket, and the counter read 3:34, 3:35, 3:36…

I hung up.  Whatever.  No big deal.

When I called the source back, she informed me that she had a several-minutes-long voicemail in which I sounded “quite intelligent.”

Thank you?

Luckily, the interview regarded a story about a local art show, obviously lacking any damning details or sensitive information.

I don’t like playing “What if?”  But “What if?”

In the grand scheme, today’s incident is exceptionally minor, but the potential for damage is too high for my tolerance.

Guess this gives me a reason to buy one of those sexy phone holsters I’ve always wanted.

Still, it beats the possibilities for calamity Facebook introduces when it doesn’t actually delete photos from its servers.  The book of faces topped that act today with the removal of the “clear history” option in FB Chat.

As disastrous as my pocket-dial could have been, Zuckerberg’s follies far and away outstrip what Gray and Bell have left us with.

Phone calls die, digital tracers don’t.

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