Feb 10

Missing Physical Education

I saw a rapidly vanishing scene the other day; a father walking with his family up to the letterbox and the children standing on tiptoe to post the envelopes they had been clutching.
It took me back to my childhood reading the Ladybird Book of the Post Man and watching the film of The Night Mail with John Betjeman’s poem providing the sound effects for the public information film of the travelling sorting office steaming through the night. And then there was the Great Train Robbery, which strangely caught the Zeitgeist of the sixties. In a few years this will all be gone and forgotten.

I was working with a young Team Leader in Corporate Banking recently, who proudly told me that he had never written a cheque in his life – although he is now handling payments of millions of pounds.

I’m not being nostalgic nor luddite. I am just fearful that as we replace physical processes with more efficient virtual equivalents the next generation might lose the understanding behind the process (to coin a phrase “Process Skeuomorphs“) – such as the significance of signing a cheque and email post office protocols.

Now how do I explain the significance of an album cover to a child brought up on iTunes?

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