“In a wireless world, personal contact takes a back seat.” - Thomas Friedman. We have become too reliant on technology communication tools 24/7 to connect with people. We need to revert back to when we were kids and allocate the time needed to forge strong interpersonal relationships.
I would like to share a little story to help kick in the New Year. I was sitting in a playground in Cannes, when I witnessed four little girls of different ethnic backgrounds playing. One was French with a doll & doll carriage; there were Brazilian twins and an Asian tag along. They set up an imaginary house under the slide and began cavorting around the playground, each taking turns pushing the doll carriage. For that short span of time they were totally connected. No cell phones, no computer, no Crackberries, etc. The language differences were not a barrier. The playground transformed them into their own personal Global Village.
My point? Today thanks to all our technology to stay connected, we have actually become disconnected in the process. Reminds me of a great New York Times op-ed that I read years ago by Thomas Friedman titled Taxi Driver. Friedman wrote – “Technology is dividing us as much as uniting us. Yes, technology can make the far feel near. But it can also make the near feel very far. We’re so accessible, we’re inaccessible. We can’t find the off switches on our devices or on ourselves.”
I advocate that what is getting diluted thanks to our wireless world is our ability to truly connect with people. We are so engrossed with all our technological toys, that we don’t allocate the time, the incubation period needed to forge strong interpersonal relationships. We all talk about being networked, but how many people are we truly linked to in our network beyond their contact information? Maybe it is time to take a break from our 24/7 connectedness and revert back to the days when we were kids. The days we played more freely utilizing our best playground kid skills. By doing so, we will become more connected to one another, thus have more fun as we cavort in our network.