eyes looking at screens

With a screen in front of your eyes and a keyboard at your fingertips, it can be hard to determine the last time we had a face-to-face conversation. One where the TV was off, the phones away, and those involved looked each other in the eye. Once an everyday courtesy, offering respect and common sense with every interaction, these types of conversations rarely take place in today’s time. As technology continues to advance, the quality of conversation becomes less and less personal.

Why? Because it’s easy. Who wants to pick up the phone when they can send a quick work email? Why stop by a friend’s house when you can just follow up with a text? They’re tactics that allow us to get more done each day, and in less time.

But what about human interaction? When we fail to take the time to make connections, we don’t make connections. This is a growing trend among society, especially for younger generations who use social media, phone apps, and tablet interactions to connect with one another. Sure they’re great with electronics, but learning the art of eye contact – not so much.

Backtrack on Tech?

There’s really no way to (or no reason behind) backtracking on technological advances. If folks have smartphones and social media accounts, they’re going to keep using them. And in many cases, they make life downright convenient. We can relay quick information while working or on the run (but not driving), without taking the time to verbally explain something. Our emails or texts do the work for us. Then apps like Snapchat or Instagram allow folks to visually share their day without having to describe it. Followers can look at their convenience and see each description with their own eyes. What conversation can do that?

In many cases, technology greatly helps the way we interact with others. But how can we add a layer of personal finesse (or rather not ignoring those in front of us for those on our screens) to these ever-advancing electronics?

Maybe schools should offer classes on talking face to face, parents could get involved and enforce hours of the day where tech is banned, or maybe technology itself can one day evolve to again require human connection. Each app could have a Skype-like feature, where voices are used and faces seen – rather than just words (or photos) exchanged.

Whatever the solution, we’re working toward a growing change – where younger generations are learning new habits that older generations have yet to comprehend. Here’s to hoping that, as tech advances, we can find a way to re-personalize those communication gaps.