Let’s Get Personal

by

When it comes to my friends and I – who are scattered around the east coast – we never utter the words “keep in touch.” In this day in age, the amount of channels and outlets that are available to us provide opportunities to keep the lines of communication open. But it was not always easy to stay up to date on the lives of others around you. The way we communicate and keep in touch with others, whether it’s with friends, family, or business has evolved over time. Factors like advancements in technologies, our age, and where we live, all play a role in how we communicate in present day.

I’ve seen the evolution of communication through various outlets and tools. In elementary school, I used to write letters to a pen-pal who lived in London.  In my middle and high school days I would use AOL and AIM for emailing and instant messaging. When cell phones became a household must-have item I would constantly go over my allotted minutes, and when text messaging rolled out, it was the go-to communication tool for wanting quick responses.

Technology has definitely opened the doors of communication for people who cannot always be physically present. In the business setting, Skype has been used to include a team member in meetings who is located too far to attend. We schedule conference calls, and send emails throughout the day. With friends and family, the use of Facetime allows for loved ones to be more personal on a call.

However, as great as these advancements in technology have been, I have to ask, are we losing the personal touch that connected us in the first place? Many times, I feel like we are on the fast track into a “digi” world. People have become so addicted to their phones and gadgets that, at times, they don’t engage in conversation with the person sitting next to them. You’ve seen it at restaurants and, on a more serious note, the epidemic that is now texting and driving.

Disconnecting a little from our emails, phone calls, and texts and engaging with one another on a more meaningful and thoughtful level strengthens already existing relationships. Face-to-face interaction is what established our relationships in the first place, so it is important to mix in quality in-person time every so often.

Since distance is an obstacle for my friends and I, we have found ways to always stay connected. We are thankful for the technology that has allowed us to stay connected from afar, but we always know there is nothing better than weekends spent with one another. As new advancements in technology continue to come to market it’s just a matter of time before the next big thing sweeps through and captures everyone’s attention. It’s natural to use these tools as stepping stones, but always remember being present and face-to-face with someone is the most valuable tool we have.

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