A few weeks ago, I was at my brother and sister-in-laws for a birthday celebration. At one point we realized that of the 5 people in the living room, 5 people were staring at 3×5 “phone” devices. We were poking away at our phones. Checking Facebook, Twitter or browsing for some sort of trivia. People traveled 2-4 hours to spend time together … to ignore each other. I’ve seen this many times. I’m guilty of it.
Humans seek the path of least resistance when it comes to relationships. Technology interaction requires less commitment, attention and energy than a call or a face-to-face exchange. It’s just easier. Even if it takes 5 times as long to type something (maybe I’m just showing my age or lack of coordination), it’s easier. Want to avoid the conversation about you being late … Send a text. Want to avoid that difficult conversation with a coworker … craft an email. Want to feel as if you’ve given your best friend some quality time … write on their wall.
Technology is a powerful tool. It has its place in communication … when used properly. A good tool used improperly produces poor results.
When my wife and I are laying (or lying) in bed and we’re staring at news feeds and email boxes, we’re using a good tool improperly and in the wrong place. Where are you using a good tool improperly?