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How many people know what they want to do with their life at age 5? I did.

That’s when my grandfather gave me a transistor radio. Billions of these devices were sold, in the 60’s and 70’s. If you believe the Smithsonian, the transistor was as much a communication game changer back then as the smartphone is today.

As I listened to the radio, I became fascinated by the idea that one person could speak to many. I wanted to hear my voice come out of that radio speaker, so I learned how to use the telephone to call in for contests. And yes, I was the correct caller on WAVZ New Haven, on the air at age 6. High School Radio at 14. Commercial radio job as soon as I was 16.

In 1954, the transistor radio ushered in the age of portable electronics. Prior to that, your TV or Radio was not something you carried with you.

But we’ve been creating media for about 40,000 years. Ever since the first cave drawings and smoke signals, mankind has sought to communicate farther and faster.

Some people think of radio as a dying medium. This cracks me up because the smartphone is actually a feature-laden portable radio.

Not long after the first transistor radios, it was possible to put many transistors into something called an integrated circuit. Integrated circuits can package hundreds, millions, or billions of components onto a fingernail-sized chip of silicon. I have no idea how this works. It could be a hoax. Like global warming.

Then came the Walkman, the iPod, and the iPhone. Now we all walk around linked to all human knowledge. Lots of wonderful things happen as a result of this. It’s all so intoxicating. And there’s the rub.

With each new generation, there are game-changing devices. And it’s always the same old story. It’s so addicting, you can’t put it down. You’ll go blind. You’ll rot your brain.

Ever play video games? I did. Wasted many hours. Then I stopped. At least I think so. But wait! Isn’t Social Media a video game?

You see, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Junk food will always taste better than healthy food.

How do people not see the irony of complaining about “the media?”

I have never seen a complaint about the media that wasn’t literally someone in the act of making a piece of media!!!

Every one of us has a soapbox. There is no shortage of freedom to contribute or consume whatever we like. We are so connected, that anything we need is just a few clicks away.

So, why aren’t we happier?

I’d say instant gratification is the same as junk food. Maybe we need to consume more nutritious media. Documentaries like “Genius: Einstein” on the National Geographic channel will help you think about the bigger picture, which can be very rewarding.

Slow down. Read a book. If it’s been a while, it may seem tedious. Books take time to get going. That’s because they have lots more words than Tweets.

Spend time with people, instead of just reading narratives about them. You’ll find they are nicer in person. Even the Republicans. Or Democrats.


PS. Doing a morning radio fill in Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week on 100.1 FM The Pike. You can listen live at

It’s summertime, and the lawn always needs mowing. I’m working on an upgrade to the Maple Sugar operation, taking care of the bees, and reading a book by Bill Bryson, “A Short History Of Nearly Everything.” It’s an astounding piece of work. It got me thinking about technology and the science we take so much for granted. Yes, it’s tedious, at least for me.

Bob Rivers

Bob Rivers

Radio Host from age 14 to Present. Currently blogging, planning to launch a new radio show later this year.

Listen to 30 years worth of Twisted Tunes at

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And please help support small local agriculture and latest money losing hobby by purchasing some of Bob and Lisa’s Vermont Maple Syrup.


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