Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We need to communicate, interact, and embrace.

On the way to work this morning, I had a flashing thought as I saw a middle-age woman turn the corner in her SUV while chatting on the phone:

Humans have an intrinsic desire to communicate.

Cell phones have brought us together in a communicative way. Now, of course, there is the other side of the argument as well: cell phones are causing us to be enclosed within ourselves and within our own little world, even when we’re in the middle of a crowd… essentially forcing us apart from those around us; the building of a virtual wall, if you will.

While the cell phone (as well as the Internet, PC and the like) has increased our worldwide communication, our ability to communicate, and will keep us communicating in ways that were never before possible, at the same time we are losing the “human touch” of communication.

I think that we all long for that “human touch” sometimes, and find that we often times seek it through the technology around us… only to find that it’s not there. Yes we’re fulfilling our need to communicate with one another, albeit verbally, but we’re missing the “human touch” of communication, the full form of communication – the kind of communication that you can feel.

Technology has done wonders for mankind and will certainly continue along that path, but to what cost? It may be a stretch, but think about the possibility of the person tens or hundreds of years from now who turns on a screen within their home, has everything at their fingertips, and never has to leave home… Science-fiction entertainment or not, this person is still a hermit. Someone who does not interact with society (and some would argue that screen-to-screen or voice-to-voice only communication is not interaction with society) is probably not the type of people we long to become. The science and technology is exciting; the thought of this as reality is not.

I think we need to be careful, not cautious, of the implications of technology. Yet, I am in no way suggesting that we stop or hinder technological development out of fear that we may lose touch with society and grab on to an artificial world; I am simply saying, like Ms. Amy has proposed, that we put down our phones, interact with the world around us, embrace technology, but also embrace those around us.

Imagine the world we may create if we simply embraced those around us…


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