I was at dinner with my wife and her Grandma tonight, and something was said that made me realize that these days and those to come are much different than the ones I grew up in. For example, if you needed to discuss something with someone across town, you used to pick up the telephone and have an actual conversation (gasp!). Now, the phones grow dusty as our fingers peck away our conversations through email, IM, and blogging.
It seems logical that as technology entrenches itself in our personal lives more and more, we should grow further and further apart. Reading text in the same font and in the same little boxes regardless of who sends them should eventually overcome the experience of hearing a human voice, right?
Well, one thing is the same yesterday, today, and forever: Logic does not always prevail. Technology seems to bring me together with others in ways not possible in its absence. Case in point, the Family Chat! My wide-spread family (6 brothers and sisters, my parents, and myself in five different states and two countries) congregates on MSN IM to chat together every month for about an hour, and let me tell you that no real-world situation can emulate this experience. Pandemonium is king as 8 different conversations take place at the same time with all of our individual personalities translating loud and clear through text. We create lasting memories every time we chat (like the “signing birds”, right Dad?).
Its not just family either. I stay closer with friends and contacts through email much more than I would without it. My emails may not convey as personal a touch as a phone call, but a phone call won’t “touch” anybody if it’s never made (and it never is!).
Still, we all get together sooner or later for some holiday because we can’t stay apart for too long, but I propose that the human race won’t ever evolve itself and the technologies around it into a force that distances us from each other. It isn’t in our existence’ best interest to do so because relationships are what drive us forward and upward.