Let’s Get Digital

I watched an eighteen month-old swipe the volume on the music video on her iPad.

Yes, you heard me, eighteen months.

This is how intuitive Apple products are these days… and how plugged-in people are.

Many complain that using modern technology/social media limits human interaction… but what if it creates interaction that wasn’t there before?

Think about it… back in the day I would meet some cute dude at summer camp – maybe we’d exchange phone number or addresses. The phone number was fine, because your Dad and brother acted as gatekeeper, so you know whoever was calling you had some cahones.

unleashed.yakimablogs.com

The address wasn’t such a bad idea because then you could be penpals. I mean back then, you couldn’t just Google Map or Zillow someone’s address and essentially see the color of your front door. We would write each other and wait. And write and wait. And maybe never see each other again. Ever. You wonder what ever happened to that guy… ?

Oh, the waiting. The tortuous waiting. To wait for a song to come on the radio and record it without recording the DJ’s voice. Then if you wanted the song, you had to buy the whole damn album- even the filler songs- and wait until your Rite-Aid or Tower Records got it in. Same deal with concert tickets… get in that line, sister. And photos. Drop ’em off at Costco and voila- a week later, you have about 24 prints of which 10 are a blur or your hand is in the way.

Magnavox Stereo

Yes, technology is amazing and we don’t have to wait anymore. We can tell anyone what we’re thinking the exact moment we’re thinking it- and many times get back a reaction. Without ever actually talking to anyone.

Oh, and what about dating? I would venture to say a mere 1% of dudes I meet actually call/telephone me for a first date. I’ve had the FB message ask-out (about 8%), an email (believe it or not! It comprises less than 1%). The majority of dudes (90%) opt for texting to asking out a girl on a date. Oh sure, they met me somewhere first to get the digits, but the actual, ‘let’s grab a drink/coffee/dinner’ question arrives safely and non-confrontationally via text. Usually in 142 characters or fewer.

Now, I’m used to it. I used to take offense to it, and I am sure every twenty year-old out there thinks this is completely normal. And believe it or not there are a few guys out there who do still phone me. They stand out – for sure. There’s just so few of them. And then I start to wonder if it is a good thing or a lame thing because no one else does it?

Here’s the point. Even though I think we are interacting less in-person, we are actually interacting more- as people- with these technologies. People with whom I wouldn’t normally have conversations – I do because we’re connected via Facebook. Or they write a comment on this blog. Or they find me through LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

I am more connected to people than ever without actually physically being connected to them. It’s great for people who aren’t good with social energy. I mean, look at how well eHarmony is doing! The problem is, I kinda need that in-person energy. Hell, I do it for a living. I am in outside sales, meaning, I meet with people in person. My sell just doesn’t go as well, or is not as loyal an account if I am only communicating via phone and email. I need that energy- in person, to build trust and an unwavering relationship!

The thing is, we have five senses. Sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing. Five senses. Texting and email? Sight. Phone call, that’s hearing. Skype? Hear and see. And as for in-person? Well depending on your person, it can be all five. And there is no substitute for that.

AT&T (back then included the Bell System) used to have an ad, “Reach out and touch someone” – via phone, of course. But seriously, why not. Keep all your digital connections- they are ones you probably wouldn’t have without this great technology of ours. But if you can, reach out and seriously touch someone you know. Give them a hug. Kiss on the cheek, whatever. If anything, do it just to remind yourself you’re still a human. 🙂

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