It’s obvious, communication and interaction with others has changed. There’s a whole new way to talk, a whole new way to write, a whole new way to socialize in our world today. The changes come so fast and furious it’s hard to keep up. Your phone isn’t just for talking anymore, it does just about everything but brew a cup of coffee for you. Though I must point out you do have apps that can turn off your lights, start your car, and turn on your coffee maker. You can make payments and deposit the funds to cover them with the flick of a button or a mouse.
Rather than pick up a phone, seems it’s easier these days to send a text, chat online, or Tweet. Facebook seems to be the virtual town square, revealing it all and dishing the dirt. You can have thousands of friends, just down the block or half the world away. You can find dates via the Internet and Skype with folks around the world. Need information, it’s endless; whether it contradicts, complements, challenges or clarifies. It’s out there; just Google it.
We’ve learned to write with emoticons and chat in acronyms. We hold virtual jobs and attend virtual meetings. We’ve gone paperless to save the trees, and storage exists in the clouds, no more painful paper cuts and ugly file cabinets. Wherever we go we have instant entertainment — unlimited movies, endless music and a library of e-books where the shelves never end.
Communities have grown larger. You’re never alone, no longer have to feel the outsider because somewhere in the world there is someone just like you. Yet, despite all this togetherness, are we losing the art of talking, avoiding the personal contact that makes us human? Does “XOXO” replace the real thing?
Does anonymity make us careless with what we say and to whom? Isn’t the natural censor within us a good thing at times? Perhaps there is a reason we fear face-to-face confrontation and conflict — it gives us time to think before we speak and hurt someone. Always a good principle to live by.
As in all things, there is good and bad with technology. We just need to find the proper balance. Perhaps pick up the phone and call your mom so she can hear your voice. Instead of typing “ROTFLMAO,” share lunch with a friend and do the laughing in real time. Rather than texting “ILY” to that special someone, whisper it in their ear, then of course give them the XOXO in real time.
Yes, the times they are a-changin’, but what a great time it is. Imagine what it will be like in another 100 years.