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How We Interact

I was looking through some old pictures for images of an uncle who passed away over the weekend, images that would be part of a collage of images of interactions he’s made in his lifetime. It occurred to me that he’s never joined Facebook or Instagram. If you wanted to interact with him you needed to do it the old-fashioned ways with a call, a letter, or best of all, face-to-face. Technology is handy, but it will never substitute for a conversation with an engaged, interested human being.

Writing this, I sit at a desk looking to my right to a Mac screen. Looking left, I might interact with a PC screen. I’m technology-agnostic in this way, as most of us must be. Work to the left, personal to the right. Throw in work and personal iPhones loaded with apps, a Kindle, iPad, and both an Apple and a Garmin watch and it seems I can interact with the world in all manner of ways. But I still prefer talking to humans face-to-face. Call me an old soul if you will.

Technology makes us scalable and efficient. I can click publish on this blog post and it’s possible for the entire world to read it in an instant. We both know that’s not going to happen, because the entire world is pushing out their own content too, making it a very noisy tech world indeed. To rise above the din you must be louder and more committed to connection, not just more interesting or introspective. I’ve come to realize that accumulating followers is just not me. I celebrate organic growth, but dwelling on it is counterproductive and artificial. I’ll just keep doing my thing, quietly interacting with you and the occasional five hundred-ish other folks, from now until it ends.

One of these days I’ll fix the blog, to make it easier for people to interact with me. Or maybe not, but just know it’s not because I’m not interested in the humans on the other side. Just not so much the technology that connects us. There’s irony in that statement, but it’s not meant to be clever. It just means I’m more like my uncle than I thought I was.

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One Comment

  1. Harare’s book ‘Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow’ digs deeply into this topic. Kinda scary – what he sees happening with respect to this technology segment of human history. Worthy of a face-to-face with you to ponder over together!

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