10-4 Peeps!

I was driving through a small country crossroads town today and was reminded of a woman who lived there back in the 70s. Her CB (citizen’s band) handle was, I think,  Grandma or Granny and she was renowned in these parts for her thick hillbilly accent, constant presence on the air, and arguing with other CBers who would come on her favorite channel and “agitate” her.

Don’t think I ever knew who she really was and I am presuming that she, like CB radio, has passed on. Then it struck me that CB isn’t gone, it’s just morphed into a different form. Today’s version of CB is Facebook. Ah, 10-4 peeps?

3 thoughts on “10-4 Peeps!”

  1. Yeah, Larry, you’re “preaching to the choir,” if you’re trying to convince me that CB’ing is similar to FB’ing; you’re 100% correct about that; however, the two are also completely (or nearly so) dissimilar. With Facebook, for example, you and I can carry on a conversation even though both our time online and our distance apart are drastically juxtapositioned, something that was, and remains, totally impossible with CB’ing. I’m not trying to argue or even get you to see it as I do because you are correct because, with Facebook, just as with CBs, two (or more) regular Toms, Jills, Janes or Joes can (eventually) communicate with each other, though – for the most part – they have to “find” or “befriend” each other first. Maybe what you’re saying would be more clear to me if I saw Facebook as a more evolved, much more advanced form of CB’ing.

    Pardon me, as I rant, hoping that you’ll, mostly, just be pleased that I’m commenting here instead of on Facebook, as I know you wish more people would do, but here are some similarities or differences in no particular order or weight:

    * I guess that befriending someone on Facebook to communicate with them is sort of like having to be on the same channel to communicate with someone with a CB.
    * With a CB, supposing most are on the same channel during discovery, is kind of like looking for friends or former classmates on Facebook; with a CB it was common for example for everyone or most to sometimes be on channel 19.
    * Having a thread or discussion on Facebook with a group of friends is kinda like finding some people on a CB and switching to another channel to carry on a more indepth or seemingly more private discsussion. Other people could also have “secretly” switched to the same channel and listened; I guess that this is kind of like a friend of a friend on Facebook can sometimes read our comments on a nonmutual friend’s blog without the ability to comment on said blog.
    * With CB’ing it was absolutely essential to be in the same area, within a few statute miles of each other, except in rare instances of skipping with the help of a powerful base station or complementary cloud cover and, usually, such skipping was only one way, unless both parties had base stations, for example, but with Facebook just having any old piece of equipment will allow one to communicate over any conceivable distance, not to mention time.
    * CB’ing and FB’ing are both communication tools and there are lots of similarities, but there are so many differences that their similarity seems irrevelant.
    * As you suggest, CB’ing did allow voice and personality – i.e., real life to immediately become apparent, while Facebook can take time for such to become clear. (One of the worst things about our court systems is that sometimes what someone actually said, without regard to how they said it – their voice inflection, body language, and so on – is sometimes, if not more often, used against someone.)
    * As you suggest, because of the above, it is/was generally more apparent with a CB that you were actually talking to a certain person as voice-disguising machines were not common. (But I once heard a story of how a trucker let himself go too far in immitating another trucker, winding up getting the other trucker shot.)
    * As you suggest, CB’ing or HAM’ing was in real time, speaking of voice, though CW, via mostly HAM’ing (or telegraphing) could transcend time, while Facebook can sometimes be in real time (as with chatting) it is more often not the case.
    * As you suggest, CB’ing and FB’ing are alike in that any ol’ equipment would do and there was/is little regulation otherwise; however, again, Facebook – for the most part – requires a “befriending” step first.
    * You may be right that I have no real proof that you are, indeed, Larry Chapman, but I have evidence:
    * 1 – your arguments are sound, logical and sensible – that’s pretty good evidence to me that you’re you. Because CB’ing and FB’ing are alike, AND
    * 2 – your aruments are silly, bordering on unconnected, if not downright stupid (yikes! to myself – has my fear of you actually waned this much?!) – that’s pretty good evidence to me that you’re you. Because CB’ing and FB’ing are totally dissimilar.

  2. I was into ham radio for decades and on most evenings could maintain reliable conversations with friends all over the Eastern US. It was far superior to the Internet in that you were talking in real time using real voices. The voice projects one’s personality and includes a human element that so far doesn’t exist for most on the Internet. However, it was the Internet that has weakened the popularity of ham radio. The Internet doesn’t require nearly the expensive equipment and the effort to maintain an antenna system that radio communications required. It also doesn’t require the acquisition of a federal operators license or the mastering of a specific body of technical knowledge. It, is fact, is like CB radio, which also didn’t require knowledge, the license was a mere formality and never really enforced, and the needed equipment was dirt cheap. Also, like the Internet, most people used a “handle” and their true identification was unknown. You just think you’re communicating with Larry Chapman right now but you have no real proof.

  3. Well, Larry, you have a point, but at the same time it’s like a paradox; you’re completely correct, while, at the same time, totally wrong.

    Yes, one can real-time chat on Facebook, so that seems like the CB days, however, even with really powerful, and illegal, and mostly ignored, base stations it’d been quite difficult to have a “chat” like this one with someone in Greenfield, or Hillsboro, Ohio and another person in Phillipsburgh, Kansas, and with Facebook one can have these chats in other that real or ordinary time, something that would’ve been impossible and not at all comparable to the CB. So, if Facebook is at all similar to CB’ing, then it’s like CB’ing across space and time, and again, due to the distances sometimes involved, and things like the necessity of having an account, rather than simply buying a CB Radio (or a computer) and there you are, more like HAMing without the need to regard the time when your “friends,” new and old, will be “on.”

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