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The Extinction of Human Interaction

Have you noticed today how little interaction with people there is? There was a time that was not that long ago that we went to stores, asked for help, chatted with the knowledgeable people that were a part of an organization where we bought things we desired. We seemed more conscious of our decisions. We appeared to cherish one another’s opinion.

Now it seems even when we enter a grocery store or fast-food restaurant, we go about our time there interacting with no one. We can order online, we can step up to a kiosk and place our order to be picked up. We wait patiently for them to call our number to get our food. Do people even wear name tags anymore? Do we even care what people are named?

I’m just curious because, in the day and age of things getting faster and more technical, it is also a time the workplace is going to collaborative open workspaces. Yet we see no names, we don’t know the person sitting next to us, we put on our headsets to try to drown out the noise around us so we can concentrate. In an effort to collaborate, it seems to be having a need and desire to hyper-focus. Where those that are nearby search desperately for some time alone, however, are continuously surrounded by others.

Have we created a need to seek solitude because we lack the peace the human spirit desires?

As I gaze over the river on a lazy vacation morning, I watch the sunrise. I listen to the birds’ wake from their night’s rest. I watch as the sun crests over the horizon to begin another day. I watch the ripples of the river as the water meanders downstream. I can see the currents flatten the water and create small pockets of peace as the surrounding water crests around it. It is the dance of nature that surrounds us daily that we are no longer paying attention to because we seem to be trying to move too fast and not enjoying those things that are not in the portals of technology we all have in our hands. The digital connection of those things that technology has produced yet we neglect to connect with those that physically surround us. What are we missing?

I could spend all day staring out at the sky and watching the clouds move, and the water shimmer from colors provided by the sun. Do yourself a favor. Take your eyes off of the technology you hold. Look at what you see and let your fingers flow from your mind and describe your vision. You and only you can tell me what you see.

I’ve shared my view, now it is your turn.

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Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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4 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Personally I believe that people with sufficient balance know how to dose the use of technology and are not necessarily prevented from attending people and meeting places for non-virtual contacts, even if one cannot discern that in metropolitan cities and in situations of health difficulties, for example, it is possible that yenda isolates itself.
    But regardless of the digital tool used, the greatest opportunity offered by the Internet is to get to know people who are not physically close to us, but who can belong to our own online community: a set of like-minded people who share interests and / or objectives. For this reason the interpersonal relationships that are born online are perhaps more solid than the “offline” ones: what pushes people to communicate virtually is the sharing of the same interests and values.

  2. I may be putting myself on a limb here, but I will say that this article touches the basis of so much of what and why there is little interaction. God has been taken out of so much that relates to the quality of what life, family and friends are these days. Technology has replaced the simplicity of much of what is good for us. My sad observation mostly in when I am in a resturant and I see families come in that everyone, including the children, are all on their phones. Even to keep the littlest one quiet they give them a phone to occupy their time. What ever happen to conversation, interaction without technology, to just finding out what is going on in the lives of those whom you love. Thank you for this post.

  3. This is great my friend. Seems we are really on the same vibe. I like you are doing less technology and spending more time writing, hanging out with the Dogs, grandchildren and just sitting on the patio listening to the wind blowing through the trees and wait lots of birds and lastly driving down back roads with Buddy.

  4. I don’t think human to human face to face interaction is dead. The landscape of communication has changed with the rise of the internet, texting, and alike which is still communication and interaction albeit in a different form. I visit a neighborhood here in Brooklyn known as Boro Park. From that, I came to be very friendly with my pharmacist, a bakery, a pizza place, and fellow patients in the doctor’s offices I go to. Many times people will stop and engage in conversation. The same holds true for Manhattan that despite the harried pace people do stop and talk to each other. In my neighborhood, I rarely interact with anybody except when we are down by the bay or I play with the dogs I meet along the way. The dog owner is the person you engage in conversation with. My wife has many friends in the area. In essence, it all depends on where you live, work, shop, and your centers of influence. Thank you, Raissa for writing and sharing your article.

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