Are We Becoming Socially Inept?


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I consider myself to be a technologically savvy person, having just a few of the latest gadgets and toys makes my life simpler, fun and well connected to colleagues. After all, we have become a global society dependent on these tools to enhance our business engagements and socialization.

This week I was so happy to strut to the mall and make a few electronic purchases. I upgraded my telephone and bought a navigation system to be shared with my husband. When the clerk told me I could listen to music on my telephone I figured I was okay for now. My laptop, where I listen to music, is not broken so why incur these extra expenses? I absolutely adore staying connected and often talk to friends around the country via Facebook. But here is the thing I don’t get, why is it that everywhere you turn there is a sea of cell phones, iPods, or iPad users who are talking to their virtual friends rather than the friends standing or sitting near them? Why are our relationships reduced to communicating via grunts and moans. When I migrated to the south, people would wave or say hello loud enough for you to hear them as you walked along. What has happened? Are we becoming socially inept?

Yes. I think this generation of tweeters, Facebookers, Youtubers etc. are sinking into a virtual, make-believe world where only other avatars can reach them. Amazing! If we are not careful we will become a society that is psychologically inept. Our greatest expressions will be represented by flying fingers and abbreviated words. We’ll be too busy trying to say it all via the written word or with cell phone snapshots. Uh, oh gotta run. The other avatars are knocking on my wall to see if I can come out and play.

Patrice Baylor Leigh
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