So, we were talking about instant messaging replacing the old-fashioned need to speak out loud, remember?
My kid saved her money and bought herself a hand-held Nintendo DS Lite. This thing is a marvel. Not only can you play games on it, but when others of its kind are within range, they can interact with each other. It's possible to chat, either by writing or by typing out text.
This weekend there were three girls at the house, each with one of these. One would draw a figure, then send it out and the next girl would add to it and send it again. There was much giggling going on. Not sure I want to know exactly what they were drawing.
But this electronic parallel-play reminded me of the two times I went to Grace's Woolfcamp - once at her house, and then in Redwood City the following year. Having just come from BlogHer, laptops came out and we sat around the living room or the patio, blogging (and eating) (and drinking, oy vey) while discussing the things we'd learned. Some who went to Woolfcamp resented the computers, finding them an intrusion. But I think being able to read each other's live-blogging added a cool layer to the discussions that day.
And no, I don't think electronics will replace conversation. Come on, blogfolk, if three generations of TV-viewing hasn't already done this to us, nothing will.