Monday, December 19, 2011

I can talk to you a marvelous new way: in person.

         A friend of mine is worried. She says nobody is really talking anymore, or really listening.

         Person One texts Person Two. Person Three puts something on the wall of Person Four. Person Four gets upset with something Person Five put on her wall, and unfriends her. Person Six friends Person Two, who she only knows through Person Three on Twitter. Person Two she asks Person Three to recommend her on LinkedIn. Person Three asks Person Two for  advice on what to say. Person Two advises Person Three to Google "recommendations" to see what comes up.

          One wonders what the world will be like when it's all social media and we get too busy to be social. I'm even more concerned with what will happen when we all get sick of online relationships at the same time, and have to learn about personal communications all over again.

          Will there be online lessons in how to talk to a friend on the phone? Are there withdrawal symptoms from giving up texting? What will you say in person when Madeline asks you what you think of Harold?

           Will there be special iTherapists to wean us off Facebook, and help us stay off for three weeks? Will hypnosis be effective in helping us refrain from re-tweeting?

            I had lunch at a Mexican restaurant last week with 11 people. At a certain moment, all conversation stopped. I looked first at my watch, but it was no special time. Then I looked around. Everyone was checking their smartphones.

           Maybe things will get worse when there are more ads on our cellphones, and our friends are evaluating discount offers all the time.

           Then again, things would probably get better if nations could simply unfriend each other instead of having wars. Or if lawsuits could be settled in six or seven texts.

           All I know is that I'm glad my phone isn't smart. Or is it?

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