Tomorrow, DigitalMailer and many (if not all) of its clients across the nation will be closed in celebration of July 4th, marking the 238th year since the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
How exciting it must have been 238 years ago when Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were courting the votes of the Continental Congress, desperate to get their buy-in on what had to have been the most important document any of the signers had seen in their entire lives.
Men rode horses and carriages for hundreds of miles to be present for the birth of this nation. They argued and bickered and shouted and reasoned and, eventually, brought forward a document that would declare our independence from British rule. It was a lot of work, and well worth it, but one thing we can’t help but wonder…wouldn’t the Internet have made the whole thing so much easier?
Imagine Ben Franklin putting aside the potbelly stove and bifocals and devoting his attention to coming up with the first ever smart phone. Granted, phones didn’t exist yet, but with enough elbow grease, Franklin probably could’ve made that happen, too.
[Above: Franklin Snaps a Selfie (dailymail.co.uk)]
John Adams would’ve loved using social media to debate his talking points and wrangle all those votes from the rest of the Continental Congress.
[Above: John Adams should learn to use "Mark All as Read," fast. (Shoutlet.com)]
Thomas Jefferson probably would’ve found the entire writing process much simpler if he was able to use GitHub to track changes and manage the “source”. Heck, even if he just used Basecamp, he’d have been a lot happier.
[Above: Thomas Jefferson would've insisted that Monticello have good wi-fi. (fastcompany.co)]
You would think that the Declaration would’ve worked well as an eDoc with eSign capabilities…but if all the signatures were electronic, how could John Hancock have made his mark on history?
[Above: John Hancock would've loved all the typography websites out there today. (histagrams.com)]
Even with the brilliant advances of men like Franklin and Jefferson, the technology of 1776 lagged very far behind our modern-day conveniences. Still, this relatively small group of men were able to meet, to speak, and to work collaboratively without the aid of GoToMeeting or Skype. They hand-wrote every little detail from the first word to the last without the help of Microsoft Word. They kept careful records and preserved them for generations so that we could enjoy looking on them today. The Founding Fathers might not have had the abundance of technology we do today, but one thing’s for sure; they knew how to get things done.
We wish you all a happy, safe, fun Fourth of July. We’ll see you again on Monday!