I have a theory. More and faster and instant communication portals and devices do not make us better communicators. We just have more and faster communication portals and devices.
No doubt, I am frustrated by this situation with my contractor (a bit cranky, really). And the M.I.A. contractor is one example of millions in a day. I also notice people texting others while sitting around a table together. I notice the commuter train filled with loud conversation on cell phones; no one is talking to one another. I notice pedestrians walking down the streets having animated conversations into cell phones. I notice an inordinate amount of time spent in front of a computer screen. I notice 90% of all connection with any charity is via an electronic communication. There is a lot of connectivity without much meaningful connecting.
I am not device-phobic. Really. They come in really handy at times. Many times. What I notice though is that when we lose the human connection with one another we are not nearly as engaged, committed, present, or successful. We hide in the transmission (or exchanges) and the more devices that exist between people, the more places to hide. There is a huge paradox here: The more connected we are the less connected we are. The relationship becomes about how often and in how many ways we miss one another and not actually those times we connect.
Our lives, our relationships, our businesses, our organizations, our boards of directors, our communities, our friends, our kids…we fail when we forget that the device is merely the conduit for people to connect. It’s the relationship that matters! Isn’t it funny that the now vintage telephone service advertising said to “reach out and touch someone” and there was no reaching or touching involved?