Oh you don't get down digitally?

I've always been on the side of the fight that technology is killing interpersonal communication in today's society.  Texting has replaced calling, instant messaging has replaced talking to your co-worker, Netflix has replaced an afternoon at the theater...we're in a rapidly growing world and becoming more and more alone.  I even wrote about it last summer (read it here).  All in all my views haven't changed but... my phone did... and with that, I got FaceTime.  Life has evolved.

Most recently I've spent the last few months on an informal case study of sorts...how can technology strengthen a relationship?  As I have explained previously, I have multiple male friends across the country, and although I am dating zero, zilch, nada of them, I still talk to them all pretty regularly.  But what is talking to someone without seeing their face?  It's like eating without tasting your food...extremely unsatisfying.  So recently I put "FaceTime" to the test.  I've used it to talk to my sister in Texas, Mr. Holiday in the Mid-West, Mr. Summer in the great plains, my roommate in the next room and most notably, I used FaceTime over the past 4 months to get to know someone who travels constantly for work.  Before all the wheels get to turning please do not mistake this for me saying I used it for some sort of web-cam show or that crap... I didn't.  I simply used FaceTime to see the a person when we physically couldn't without the help of technology.

Okay side note... back in the day n*sync had an absolutely great song "Digital Get Down"  it was dirty as hell! At the time I was 16 and like " ohhh how scandalous!" ...videoing with your boo and getting naked ...what the hell were they using for video in 2000? Those shitty webcams that looked like creepy robot eyes?  No thanks... I'll stick with my iPhone.

When you are getting to know someone and you only get to see them once a month, you'll want to find other ways to get to see each other, and FaceTime satisfied that need for me beyond belief.  It's nice to sit down in your own kitchen while eating dinner and be able to talk to someone eating their room service meal in New York. It's like a free date that takes 50% less time.  One of the best date's I've had is with Mr. Holiday, I love him to pieces, I only get to see him when he comes home for holidays and he's one of my best friends, yet we shared a few glasses of wine and some FaceTime with our dogs.  Just hanging out on the couch 2 time zones apart and discussing our days while drinking some vino, absolutely wonderful.   To see someone's face first thing in the morning when you wake up or last thing before you fall asleep, even though they are 1,000 miles away is so comforting it's unbelievable.  Use this technology to advance your relationships with anyone in your life you can!  Sunday, I got to wake my nephew up from a nap while still in my own bed at home, it was super cute.  Furthermore, I shouldn't admit I participated in FaceTime while driving...but I did...and to have my sister ride with me on the back roads from our farm to our parent's house, like we do every holiday was comforting.

So my point... texting and instant messaging are killing the lines of interpersonal communication that we have built as a society from the ground up...yet applications like FaceTime and Skype are strengthening those same lines. We need to utilize these great features technology has given us to better ourselves and our relationships with others.  We must realize when a call is needed over a text, when a face needs to be seen and not just a voice being heard, and most importantly we need to acknowledge when technology isn't getting the job done and real, face to face communication is in absolute demand.


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