You know I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately. It seems that despite all the trillions of words published on the Internet, uttered on television and exchanged between people on a daily basis there is really very little genuine communication happening in the world. Oh, the words are coming out fast and furious but is anyone really listening or noticing if anyone is listening? It seems to me that these bagillions of sound bites are just forming a collective blog of white noise that has just become a constant hum in the background.
How’d we get here?
How did we get here? Did we all just wake up one day and realize that there was some sort of spewing-out-words competition going on worldwide? We have to write our blog posts, write our comments in forums, brag on social media channels, and be the first to have 20 affiliate sites online? We have to text about every stupid thing somebody said or did or wore? We can’t put down our phones for one second to even acknowledge the grocery store checker or coffee house barista? We can’t even cross the street without a phone or iPod stuck to our ears? Methinks, yes. That does seem to be the case.
Thanks to technology, we no longer need to leave our homes to get what we want. We can order anything from furniture to diapers online. We can work from home in our pajamas, via the computer. We can stay in touch with family via social media, iPhones, Skype and email. We never actually have to be face to face with another human being. Ever.
What’s wrong with that?
Well there is nothing wrong with technology, in fact, it’s great. However, it does make things too easy for us. It makes it too easy to be disrespectful, mean and rude. It makes it too easy to see people as numbers, opposites, enemies, competitors and rivals. It brings us together but it also tears us apart. And there is one thing that technology can never give us and that’s humanity. We are living, sentient beings capable of incredible things. Kindness that no machine can ever replicate. Caring that no social media outlet will ever express. Love. Companionship. Understanding. Loyalty. Sympathy. Empathy. Joy. We humans really rock. And sadly, we don’t seem to value each other nearly as much as the latest release of our favorite gadget.
Hug your favorite human today
For certain, technology is not going away. And no doubt, better and better gadgets will be developed and embraced. Politicians will come up with more and more classes and categories to put us in. Dueling groups will duel into infinity and beyond. But I challenge you to hug your favorite human today. Put down the phone, the mouse, the iPad and talk to your mom. Sit on the porch and ask your granddad about what life was like when he was a boy. Go out to your garden and dig around in the dirt with your kids. Have a sit-down family dinner and talk about what happened today. Smile and ask the young kid at Starbucks how they’re doing. You may be surprised. You may find that humans are great fun to talk to and have ideas and dreams and wisdom to impart.