More interactivity = less interaction

Recent water cooler discussions have included the topic that the more we interact with our devices, the less we interact face to face. I’ve known people who text each other while sitting on the same couch. I see hundreds of people walking around college campuses hunched over their phones. What happened to our face time? 

Demands of digital interaction

Companies want your time. They want you to interact with them while you are at home, out with friends, eating dinner, leaving the movie you just watched.

Friends want your time. They want your Likes, re-tweets, answers to text messages.

You want your time for reviewing that terrible cable company you pay for crappy service, posting selfies, texting your significant other about dinner plans (not while driving, right?), and countless other things that you are interested in.

Where did our time go?

For those of us who remember living when there weren’t the demands of handheld devices (other than the TV remote), we remember having more time, don’t we? When you made plans to see a movie with a friend, you set a date, time, and movie, and you showed up. You didn’t text 15 minutes before the movie started to say, “Hey, in traffic, can’t make it.” or “Want to see that Christian Slater movie instead?”

We actually talked on the phone to our friends and family. When you dropped off an application, you wore something nice just in case the manager had time to talk to you. People with pagers had it bad because someone could always interrupt what they were doing.

When did we accept constant device interruption as okay?

The new normal

Okay, after you’re done vomiting from my nostalgia, let’s accept that this is somehow the new normal. (Or maybe you’ll rebel and become my hero). How do we regain human interaction? And don’t tell me there’s an app for that!

Seriously, the art of talking to one another is starting to lose its touch, don’t you think? I’m horrible at remembering to call people to “talk on the phone,” yet I do remember every now and then and suddenly realize how nice it is to hear my friend’s voice, inflections, laugh.

Should we set our own “unplug” hours? How are you dealing with this lose of human interaction?

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