In a time of great technological advances, of cell phones that talk back to us, of face time and Skype, do most of us feel more or less connected?
I feel some annoyance every time my phone rings, how dare a person call and demand a piece of my valuable time? I’ve replaced phone conversations with text messages and gchat. Why spend 30 minutes on the phone giving one person my undivided attention when I can spread it among 5-6 people? Communication nowadays consists of fragmented, incoherent shorthand’s masquerading as words. When did “totes” become an adjective? Sometimes I can barely remember how to form a complete sentence.
No amount of typing, whether on a computer keyboard or touch screen phone, makes me feel more connected to a human being than a simple touch: a hand gently placed on my arm, a hug.
I learned the lesson from Midas at an early age. Midas was a king who valued wealth above all else. Because of a good deed, Midas was granted a wish by the Gods: everything he touched would be turned to gold. Midas was ecstatic; he had access to unlimited wealth! When his daughter came home that evening, he rushed to the door to hug her in celebration of his new power. As soon as he touched her, she became a gold statue.
What is wealth (or technology) compared to the human touch?
Are we promoting productivity or detachment?
Perhaps it’s not annoyance I feel when my phone rings but anxiety. After spending so much time interacting with keyboards, even a phone call feels overly intimate. A unique voice on the other side of the line with the potential to invoke nostalgia, happiness, attraction, dread, excitement, loneliness…it’s too easy to press the ignore button and text instead.