“There is unquestionably a contradiction between an efficient technological machine and the flowering of human nature, of the human personality.” -Arthur Miller
I was recently sitting in a popular local coffee shop so that I could get some work done away from the office. It dawned on me, as I typed an e-mail, that I was working there so as to isolate myself for the purpose of uninterrupted work time. The recognized irony of this is that I was “isolated” in a room full of people. As I glanced around the room, I noticed that there were people talking on cell phones, texting, checking a Facebook status or twitter feed, or sitting silently alone. Sure, there were a couple of people in real human interactions, but for the majority of people (myself included) all interaction was through a virtual world. I guess to add to the irony, I am sharing my reflections via a virtual posting, which is likely to be read by very few people. My point is this. Through the wonderful magic of technology, we are able to connect with others in ways that were never before possible. However, are people becoming less likely to engage in actual “in the flesh” relationships in favor of virtual ones? I see this with my own children too. At times, they have to be reminded not to place something such as a phone-text chat at a greater importance than a live conversation they are having. I cannot help but wonder how the increased use of technology is shaping human relationships and the ability for people to socialize in real time face-to-face interactions. I by no means am anti-technology and truly think it is a wonderful tool. I also have a new inspiration to increase my engagement of live people more often.