Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Electronic Age vs Human Interaction

I recently learned of my youngest granddaughter's engagement. Now, ordinarily, this would be a momentous occasion, possibly even having the word of said engagement spread by way of an engagement party. Uh, well, no. Not in this case. Oh, not that my gradddaughter isn't fond of parties, she loves them... it's just that...well, it's like this: she announced her engagement to her family, including her grandparents, and to all her friends, and to the world at large by way of FaceBook.

I have to admit I was hurt. So was Grandpa. Probably the rest of the family, as well. But it got me to thinking: FaceBook, Twitter, all the other social media websites that I don't know about and sincerely hope I never have to, cell phones and texting, iPods, iPads, Droids, Smart Phones, iPhones...the whole world of electronics that we have today has taken over our lives, and with that, has pretty much destroyed what was once known as Human Interaction.

When was the last time you sent a long letter by regular mail? You know, the kind where you handwrite on a piece of paper known as "stationery", put it into an enclosure known as an envelope, put a little square thing called a stamp on it, and drove to a building called a "post office" to mail it? Be honest, now, how long has that been?

When was the last time you picked up a telephone and actually dialed a number and talked to a friend or family member? When was the last time that same phone rang, and a human voice was on the other end, rather than a computerized robot?

Have you looked at the so-called "handwriting" of your kids lately? Can you honestly read it? I sincerely doubt it. "Handwriting" as such long ago faded out of the educational environment, and children were pretty much on their own to learn cursive writing. Today, even kindergartners have computers, Kindles, and electronic calculators, so who has to hand write anything? It's the same with communication skills. Can your kids, especially your teenagers, carry on a conversation without throwing in a bunch of text words or using so much slang ( hopefully without the swear words) that you really can't understand or follow what they are saying?

In today's world, no one seems to have the time for Human Interaction. If you can't order it from Amazon, text it on your cell phone, email it from your computer or iPod, or shout it to the world on FaceBook, you are lost. And it doesn't seem to matter if you are 16 or 60, the Electronic Age has captured you, trained or retrained your brain and all your thought processes, and interacting with a real human being on any level is beyond your level of expertise.

Did you ever stop to wonder what this world will be like in 2050? Human Interaction will be a thing of the past, a dinosaur from just another Ice Age,
 and if an engagement can be announced on FaceBook, I'd bet a marriage proposal will be, too.

Human Interaction is slowly dying. Oh, it may twitch a time or two, and try to come back to life, but the life blood is slowly but surely seeping out, and death is the only option left.

We send "cyberhugs" to our friends all the time. Do you suppose the time is coming when the only hugs and kisses between humans are those found in cyberspace?

Until next time,
That's a wrap.


  1. You are so right, Mikki. However I must say I'm not sad about not having to write long letters by hand anymore. My handwriting is really awful. And I do think email has helped me keep better contact with people. I hate the phone so email is a blessing to me.

    I'm thankful for Facebook too because although it is nerve racking because they keep changing everything and some people take up space posting crap, it has helped me to reconnect with old friends that without Facebook... well there would be no contact probably.

    But it's getting a bit insane! The last 2 years I've barely even gotten any christmas cards which is something I used to really enjoy. But have to admit I've gotten lazy sending as well. All this technology as not only cut off a lot of actual human contact but it's made us lazy.

    But it is the way of the world today so all we can do is keep ourselves current and go with the flow!

  2. I try to keep current to a certain extent, but I refuse to speak to a computer/robot...the minute I hear that annoying inanimate voice I hang up...and I guess I'll never like Facebook for any reason. I agree that we've gotten lazy, because technology and electronics have made everyone seek convenience over convention. But as my son says, I'm a dinosaur...I still believe humans and all we can do as humans are 100% better than any electronic gadget ever made, no matter how "inconvenient" it might be.

  3. Uh, clicked on publish too soon. I meant to say,"...allwe can do as humans are 100% better than any electronic gadget ever made, no matter how "inconvenient" it might be for the humans.

  4. I think the whole technology thing is a real detriment to society. Don't get me wrong, I love technology. After my dad, I'm probably the one person in my family who geeks out over laptops, phones, iPods, and tablets. I love all that stuff. BUT, I also like books, actual CD's with cases and booklets, and actual DVDs. I don't actually like the downloadable books, music, or movies. I want the actual hard copy.

    However, I think children should learn handwriting. They should learn cursive, not just print. They should also learn how to search for things in a library. They shouldn't have to rely on Google for everything. Kids should also learn punctuation. I mean, for heaven's sake, I'm using punctuation here in this reply! I don't even know how to text without punctuation. And is it so hard to turn off your phone/iPod/tablet/Kindle/Nook while I'm talking to you? Come on, peeps!!!

    However, I admit, I don't send letters, but that's just because I'm much more of a fiction-than-fact writer. If I'm going to put a pen to paper, I want to write a story. I don't want to write about mundane things like what I did in the supermarket yesterday. Also, stamps are crazy expensive these days. Email's cheaper.

    Sorry about the length of this reply, but it got me all annoyed, so I had to reply!! :)

    1. It annoys me, too, Cat, but I'm afraid it's here to stay. I'm even having to get another cell phone with an "on-screen" keyboard so I can text my grandchildren who don't like to talk on the phone! And even my daughter prefers to text than to talk. Guess us old dinasaurs are just going to have to live with the Electronic Age and learn a few new skills!