Sunday, June 8, 2014

Love / hate relationship

A friend recently sent me an email to inform me that he could not make a breakfast meeting because he was camping with his family. My immediate response was, “If you are checking email, you are not camping!” This unfortunately, is our new reality.

 I recently left on a business trip and forgot my phone. When I realized what I had done, panic set in. I calmed myself and reminded my self that between my ipad, my laptop and hotel phones, I would be fine. But I wasn’t fine. It bothered me the whole trip, that I was so bothered by it.

We have become a society that that is very good at communicating with others and not so good at connecting with others. I believe it began back in the 50’s and 60’s when we began building back patios instead of front porches. Today the statistics are staggering as to how many people do not even know their next door neighbors. People didn’t always like their neighbors, but at least they knew them.

I was in a Subway one day waiting for my sandwich order to be taken. I noticed two “tweener” girls sitting across from each other at a table, both texting away on their phones. I wanted to go grab their phones out of their hands and yell, “Try talking to each other!” But as I watched…. I suddenly realized they were talking to each other. Their faces were 18 inches apart and they were texting each other across the table. Sad as this sounds, a similar scenario is playing out everyday in workplaces across this country. People are emailing co-workers all day, many of which are sitting right next to each other.

We have bought into the idea that “one way communication” is more efficient than face-to-face communication. We have come to believe that 400 Facebook friends trump a couple of close friends.

 I love technology. Every new gadget calls to me and I want the latest and greatest. As a Baby Boomer, I am old enough to remember a time when we didn’t have all this “cool” stuff. I would never advocate tossing all this stuff, but perhaps we could work a little harder at looking people in the eye when we talk to them. Let’s get back to trying to “connect” with each other and not just communicate with the masses.

And one last thing, please stop posting pictures of what you are about to eat.

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