Let’s face it; the vast majority of us would be dead without our phones. There was a time when you could get a hold of people. If you called them and they were, say, out to the movies, you would have to keep trying back to get a hold of them. Or worse yet ... leave a message! Now your phone voluntarily and involuntarily lets the world know where you are at any given time. If this was 1974 and that happened, you would probably shoot the person dead for knowing your every step, but four decades later we’re accepting of it, and in most cases encouraging it. Which brings me back to my original statement -- a vast majority of us would be dead without our phones.

And then there is Facebook, which has changed the way we communicate with one another, both good and bad. Here’s a for instance: Yesterday was my birthday. If you are a Facebook friend of mine you can pop right onto my page and write something funny, or just play it straight -- but either way you can wish me a happy birthday. See, that’s nice. I know I enjoy receiving your well wishes and I enjoy sending them out as well. It tells people you’re taking a little time out of your day to wish them well and you can do it while you’re on line at the bank. Simple and easy and good; you can apply this to any major life event. But with that freedom should come the knowledge of when to whip out your smart phone and when not to. "Happy Birthday" ... whip it right out there. "Oh my God, I think the guy across the street died -- RIP Mr. Guy Across the Street" ... keep that smart phone holstered, Wyatt Earp! Here’s why: Because of the nature of people, they have a tendency to share things, and when things get shared on a mass platform, then people who might know "Mr. Guy Across the Street" find out about his fate in a rudely inappropriate manner. As a wise lady once said, "Ain’t nobody got time for that."

On my phone I have three different ways to communicate, and that doesn’t even include the old-fashioned picking up the phone and calling someone! I’ve actually found myself answering a text message from person A while talking to person B. So herein lies the $64,000 question: Do we need to be this connected? Truth? Probably not. I’m not saying it’s entirely a bad thing, because, let’s face it, if you have an emergency and need to track someone down, you probably can. But here’s the other problem: If you’ve got nothing to say, yet have the overwhelming need to say something, well, you probably will. So what happens? The blurring of the line between what’s important and what’s not important. "Hi, Bob, your home is on fire," is an emergency, but "Hi, Bob, I’m at the store, and did you know that they changed the design of the Delmonte Green Bean can," is not!

Because it is so easy to exchange trivial thoughts we often talk in a trivial manner.

But if we are going to talk about unnecessary words, we should talk about necessary words, which include: Bye, goodbye, talk to you soon, OK, take care, see you soon, bye, buh bye, bye bye, hasta la vista, ciao, see ya or whatever you feel you should use to end a conversation. This is something that is getting lost; half the time I’m ending a conversation that was ended by the person I was talking to three seconds earlier. It’s pretty simple -- one person says goodbye, then the other person says goodbye, then the conversation is over! Plain and simple, because if I’m talking to you and you don’t say goodbye at the end of the conversation, I will call you back and say, "What the hell is up with that?"

Fish is the morning talent on Classic Hits 92.7 FM. He also offers up his opinion on-line at www.whatda hell.net. E-mail him at fish@wk vt.com.