Fleeting Thoughts on the Death of Human Interaction in the Digital Age

14 Nov

Momentary Fleeting Thoughts on the Death of Human Interaction in the Digital Age

By Nate Thayer

November 14, 2013

I have had dozens of communications with people today–by text, by email, by Google and FB Instant Messaging, from all over the globe. I have been communicating with people for nearly 12 hours, uninterrupted.

But just now, my telephone rang, and for the first time today, I heard my first human voice.

It was a computer generated call: “Hello! The FBI reports that there is a home break-in every 15 minutes. If you allow us to put a sign in your front yard, we will install a security system in your home for absolutely free. To learn more, please push one. To be placed on a ‘do not call list’, push nine.”

I actually hesitated. Then I pressed nine.

I feel an even more cold feeling than I did before, even more isolated than I already do in this new wonderful digital world of borderless information that, I am told, is bringing the human species closer together, connecting the world.

I fear that the human voice, human interaction, facial expression, the nuance of humour and meaning and tone of the voice, human touch, the comforting sound of just another breathing and a beating heart nearby, the meaningful expression of eyes, are no longer considered important, little less the primary tool of human communication it was last time I checked.

Are we really becoming a global community? or are we isolating ourselves into billions of virtual cubicles, fibbing about our human essence, applying makeup to our universally shared flaws, creating a fiction of ourselves instead of celebrating and learning from the many differences we all have and should revel in?

I will not surrender till I see the whites of their eyes.

And Skype doesn’t count.

2 Responses to “Fleeting Thoughts on the Death of Human Interaction in the Digital Age”

  1. shuvus November 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    I tend to agree that the new technologies have given us an apparent sense of “Connectedness”, whereas I feel there is something inauthentic about reducing human relationships to a series of quips. I live inTasmania and I regularly communicate with people from my past via social media, but there seems to be something deeply unsatisfying about this new alternative form of communication. I have read your articles and find your history in Cambodia fascinating. A friend of mine Philip Brooks http://www.klektik.com/klektik/Philip_Brooks.html and I were in Phnom Penh up until the 29th March 1975, evacuated on an Air America flight. One of the last to leave Ponchetong before the fall. I would like to know your opinion of the UN war crimes trial that is still going on. I think if Cambodia or the Un had set up a reconciliation commission rather than trials of the Khmer Rouge leadership as it has done, it may have had a more effective healing process. The fact that a lot of those who committed the atrocities between 1975 and 1980 were young men, that were instruments of 20th century ideology acting under orders whose subjective viewpoint was one of what they believed was “Good intent”. What I am trying to get at is if there was a structure for reconciliation, it may allow a form of forgiveness. I think when people think of forgiveness, they think its for the benefit of the forgiven, whereas I believe that the greatest benefit is for those who do the forgiving; because it allows the relationship to continue on the “forgiver’s terms”. I look forward to reading more of your work Jim Wiliamson


  2. Olivia Guerbet November 15, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    I m impressed by your self lucidity! I still belong to the other world, world of human contact, meeting , talking, laughing with reals friends…
    Welcome for a visit


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