Revolution of communication tools in Japan in the last 30 years

I think that the communication tools in Japan have dramatically changed. In my childhood, I usually wrote a letter if I had something to tell a person. Especially on New Year’s, it was a social custom for many Japanese to send a post card (Nengajyo) to their acquaintances every December. This was very time-consuming. After each family had installed a telephone in their house, we could make a call. Although our communication became easier, we had to pay a high telephone charge. Those old-fashioned practices have entirely disappeared in recent years. The Japan’s post office company, a former public sector of the government, has been losing business. In 1990s, it was divided into three sections, posting, banking, and life insurance. Recently it is earning income mainly from banking and life insurance because the posting business has been in the red. The same difficult situation exists in NTT, the largest telephone and telegraph company in Japan. After all, the Internet is an epoch-making invention. Younger generations seem to use an E-mail and SNS very smoothly. Walking on street, they can communicate with their friends by using a smart phone. It is amazing for me that they can type a keyboard very fast. By the time I just open up my smart phone, they have finished sending an email.
In my opinion, however, the development of communication tools might diminish direct relationship between people. Now I see, for example, some Japanese wives and husbands take their communication by LINE instead of talking to each other. Also, It is true that many Japanese hesitate to state an opinion in front of people. Interestingly, the same person can hold very strong criticisms against society on SNS. It seems like the person has double personalities. Accordingly, face-to-face communication is still essential for us. I always try to meet the students who are unsatisfied with my lecture because I can get the points from their expression and attitudes. I think that it is difficult to exactly understand each other by exchanging just words on email.
It is good to appreciate the progress of communication tools. I am willing to use my iPhone and PC. At the same time, I believe that it is essential to strike a balance between convenience and the human relationship. So sometimes I like to enjoy the inconvenience, such as meeting people, writing a letter and making a call.

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