Remember the old days when we were on the phone constantly, even when we had nothing to talk about? I fell asleep many nights with my phone smashed against my cheek and the bed, only to wake up in the middle of the night with the now over-heated phone still connected, numbers imprinted on my face and a damaged phone due to drool. Those were the good days. How many of you have weekly phone conversations that last for more than 5 minutes with someone other than a family member? I, myself, only have one friend I talk to consistently on the phone daily.
“The good fellow to everyone is a good friend to no one.” -Yiddish Proverb. Recently, this is more of a fact than opinion. The more we extend our” virtual relationships” with texting and social media, the greater the loss of personal connections and close friends. We are now hard-wired to use texting, internet, games, social media, etc., not only as a tool, but as a distraction. It is our go-to escape, when we are bored with a conversation, tired of watching a movie, or simply do not want to pay attention to reality. We are starting to expect more from our smart phones and less from people.
Therefore, with lowered social standards set on people, how will our social patterns alter in the near future? We already talk to strangers less, almost thinking it is awkward to strike up conversation with someone we do not know. Now, friends consider themselves to have done a good deed checking up on one another by the friendly, yet lazy attempt, of a few text messages. Someday, will we not want to leave our homes because we are already “connected” with the world? This is a daunting thought.
There is no doubt that our social habits have already changed. In the next 10-15 years, I am curious as to how it will continue to morph. The generations born into this millennium will have different outlooks on communicating, and some of us are still trying to adapt. Instead of drool damaged cell phones, we may end up with arthritis in our thumbs at the age of 25. As our capability to connect to one another
becomes so automatically “tech-smart”, will we eventually “dumb-down” ourselves in our personal communication skills?