I haven’t written many blog posts for the last few months of the end of ’09. Mostly because I’ve been traveling and visiting with with family and friends I haven’t seen in over 6 months. When I travel my primary way to interact with people is in-person. I check email, social sites and twitter less frequently as I fill my time with meeting people for personal or business reasons. I’ve become aware in both my work and personal life, one of the few problems I have with so much reliance on [social] technologies is it separates people from the in-person nature of relationships.
We write an email, chat and even phone in a call to catch up but I and many psychologists agree that this can never equal the chemical, emotional and physical bonds created when people are engaged at a close proximity or in-personal relationship.
There are five human senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste) and of those, social technologies only cover one, if you count reading someone’s thoughts put down in text some kind of hybrid of sight and sound. Of course video conferencing will bridge some of the sensory intake, but you can’t shake someone’s hand to get a sense of their confidence, smell their sweat if they might be nervous or… well I don’t recommend trying to taste your business partners and friend but there are reasons you may want to taste someone.
The integration of all these senses along with a mysterious 6th, intuition (which can be just as important in nurturing relationships with people), have the ability to create robust profiles of in-person interactions that singular communication via text, web and even video chat can’t substantiate.
Realistically, social networks and internet content services like Twitter are hear to stay (interesting article by David Carr NY Times on reasons why Twitter is hear for good) but we should all keep in mind that these services are still tools to be used to improve information exchange, facilitate personal or business relationships and transactions. However, eventually we’ll all have to step outside the house/apt and have a few pints with friends, catch up with the family over dinner or engage with your mate for some…. carnal knowledge.
Here’s to getting out in public more in 2010.
Shot at one of many street fairs in New York – most likely between the sock guy and the grilled corn