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.