High Tech – High Touch

Bob Schultek
Author of 
The Gauntlet

When I see three or four folks sitting around a table, each interacting more with a phone than with one another, I wonder why they have chosen to meet.  Why is being together not valued more highly?  Where’s the conversation, the laughter, the stories?  What’s the nature of their relationship? If there were no phones to distract them, how would they react?

Experts have confirmed that our increasing dependence on technology creates a corresponding rise in our need for the human touch. We rely on our phones and other technology to help us be productive in today’s society, but our human nature demands a level of personal intimacy and development in order to endure. Our relationships fulfill this basic human need, preserving a healthy balance as the use of technology expands.

Think about a crisis situation, like the recent hurricanes. How would it feel to have your home damaged, and to be without water, power or cell service for days?

Circumstances like these compel a greater awareness that relationships are the foundation of society; they provide the human touch necessary for people to survive when technology is not available. Neighbor helps neighbor, and people share resources; folks talk to one another and share their stories. The event deepens their sense of vulnerability and their need to be with people. Relationships are then strengthened when the stories of these moments are retold.

Throughout history, while the evolution of technology has accelerated, people have gathered to share stories. Storytelling has been the thread that bonds generational relationships together, helping people better understand their identity and culture. Stories expose our humanity; they are a building block of relationships.

Enlightening and inspiring stories surround us – stories about our families and how we got here, about the businesses in which we work and how they have endured, and even about the remarkable history of this unique and constantly evolving country in which we live.

When you’re gathered around the Thanksgiving table next week, to share the joy of family and friends, put the phones away and enjoy the exceptional human experience of being together. You may even create some new stories to share.

How do you preserve balance between 
your technology and your human needs?
When was the last time you had no technology 
and had to rely on others?

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