I am absolutely convinced that when it comes to interpersonal relations, the digital age has hindered us, not helped us.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, my mother had a “Day Timer” brand address book–which she filled out by hand. It was the handiest little tool for her. It had tiny little rings and she could add pages whenever she got too many names for one letter of the alphabet. In the box with each address, there was actually a set of little checkboxes and she could record sending and receiving Christmas cards each year from each person in her list.
She had that book for years–maybe 2 decades. Never lost it or left it anywhere. And in it she had every name and address of significance to her. She hand-addressed every Christmas card she sent.
Fast forward 30-40 years, and tell me if our lives have improved: Now I have multiple name and address tools. I have TntConnect, my phone’s Contacts app, several email systems, online address lists for Boy Scouts or our school groups or our church small groups. Most of these lists do not synchronize with each other. And even more than that, everyone I know now has about 10-15 “addresses and phone numbers” vs. the one address and two phone numbers (home and work) they used to have. And this is easier?!
Of course, the irony here is that we have more information about our friends than ever before, yet it is harder to reach them than ever.
I think we dream of a time when every we will have a “one stop shop” for every name and address.
In the meantime, at least, TntConnect does at least help you avoid duplicates in one system. When I enter a new contact–or download a gift from a person for the first time–TntConnect scans through my database to see if that person may already be in my database. For example, if I enter Clark Kent as a new contact in my database, TntConnect not only checks to see if there is a Clark Kent already in there, but even the addresses too (to see if “Clark Kent” on 123 Maple St. is the same as “Lois Kent” on 123 Maple St.).
This type of duplicate checking is a handy little feature that in the big picture does not make a major difference. But it is a nice thing, and I appreciate it.