EDUC 8845

EDUC 8845

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Module 3 - Rhymes of History

Rhymes of History Technology

In the late 1800s telephone operators created an atmosphere of intimacy between customers. Often one operator would serve the same group of customers daily. Customers began to recognize their operator’s voice and identified them as individuals. Often, operators become dependent upon to obtain various information at hand, such as the latest news, weather, time, and even gossip.

Twitter and other instant messages model the original telephone operator connecting information from one source to many others. Depending upon others becomes hereditary and necessary to one’s life by the innate need and desire to depending on others for support.

According to Kelly’s concepts of embodiment, telephone operators were the source or portal connecting one machine to another, (Kelly, 2007). Acquiring various types of information (e.g. current events, weather, etc.) the telephone operator restructured a means of delivery from visual to auditory. Lastly, society became co-dependent on the telephone operator in the early 1900’s, similar to today’s society becoming dependent on transmitting and receiving information instantly via Twitter or other sources of instant messaging.


Kelly, K. (2007, December). Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the Web [Speech]. Speech

            delivered at the EG 2007 Conference, Los Angeles. Retrieved from


Laureate Education, Inc. (2009) Rhymes of history. Baltimore, MD: Author.

IEEE Global History Network (2012). Telephone operators. Retrieved from


  1. I find the use of Twitter very interesting. Many times I see celebrities damaging their reputations by posting to Twitter before thinking about what they are posting. Also in the media we see "Twitter Wars" between celebrities. And I am certain this happens to "everyday people" as well. It rhymes with history of gossip and rumors before social networks and misunderstandings. Twitter is also a very good way to keep in touch with people, like all our technologies, when used appropriately. I suppose for celebrities as long as they can keep their name in the headlines - any publicity is good (even if it is not nice).

    1. Hi Candice:
      Any device used inappropriately can be 'damaging to one's health.' :-) Nevertheless, I am not Twitter savvy, although I would like to become more knowledgeable. I don't post on Twitter, although I do follow a few people (e.g. my daughter at FSU). The messages are short and sweet, although there are so many it is difficult sorting through.

  2. I had not even considered how the use of social networking mimicked the role of an operator. Thank you for this enlightenment. As Candice noted in her response, technology is a vital means of staying in touch with people. Social networking has become a primary means of obtaining information for many people. Business have even started utilizing this "hot commodity" as a means of reaching customers and discovering the needs of potential clientele. As you stated, there are so many people who are reliant on social networks and I don't predict this trend will fade quickly.

    Great post,

    1. Hi Laura:
      I am trying to determine the best method in which to quickly receive answers to my questions. The turn-around Q&A response is what I have found most challanging to distance learning. During a podcast, one of the professors stated you can receive answers quickly via Twitter, so I thought I would give it a whirl.
      Thanks for your comments,

  3. Companies also offer live chat sessions. These sessions are becoming very popular as well. It limits the amount of time one would have to spend on hold before reaching an operator. I find them quick, convenient, and most important I receive great customer service.

  4. Great post Cheryl, Thank you.
    I personally do not see the purpose of posting information updates throughout the day- unless it is a score/action update for a sporting event, or more importantly, news coverage on important issues. I find social networks a great idea to reconnect old friends and keep in touch with others, however, I am not a fan of the "too much information" generation we are in. I think emotions can dictate impulsive postings, with regrets later.

  5. Cheryl; I wonder, can a person still contact a telephone operator? Seems when we have phone or communication tech issues we push buttons to contact the server or provider. I concur with Diane that what we have feared from Orwell's 1984 prophecies have conjured lost memories of worries of too much personal information being available regardless of the intentions. But, this is the demand for most, thus the supply warrants longevity.

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