My kids and my wife never let me forget that I am aging. To say that more of my life is in the rear-view mirror than the windshield is an understatement. As such, I often find myself imparting words of wisdom to my children to the effect of “texting and talking are not the same” or “a handshake speaks louder than words.” In many ways, this advice flies in the face of today’s technological advances and has caused me to contemplate the importance of technology in our everyday lives.
“I think it is fair to say that we live in one of the world’s most technologically advanced countries in the world.”Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe
I think it is fair to say that we live in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. From phones to hobbies to agriculture, technological advancements continue at a rapid rate and present an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, technology has made life easier and more comfortable, radically improved productivity, increased life expectancy, and brought a world of knowledge to our fingertips. On the other hand, technology has made it possible to avoid a great deal of human contact and interaction while simultaneously compromising individual privacy.
Somewhere along the way, technology, particularly in the form of the phones we all carry in our pockets, has made it possible, easier, and in some instances even preferable to avoid human interaction. A text is easier than a call, which is easier than a face-to-face conversation, yet there is something about a face-to-face conversation and a handshake than cannot be replicated in a call and certainly not in a text.
Our on-going battle with COVID has been greatly aided by advances in technology, and I am convinced it is technology that will ultimately allow us to prevail. But COVID has also exacerbated our inclinations to interact with people remotely and electronically rather than in person. I wonder how difficult it will be to get back to a point where we value face-to-face interaction and the significance of a handshake?
Perhaps this concern is unwarranted and will only serve as ammunition for my children to make fun of their aging dad. I am exceedingly grateful for advances in technology that have made life better and look forward to continued advances in the fight against COVID, but I remain persuaded that technology cannot, should not, and will not replace the need for human interaction and face-to-face communication.