I had a hilarious psychotherapy session today with a middle aged “salt of the earth” couple who were bemoaning the pervasive preoccupation with cellphones among the younger generation. They talked about how teens and “twenty-somethings” in particular were guilty of communicating primarily via technology. They had hired some young workers for their business, and discovered that these “kids” no longer even talked on their cellphones –(too personal!)– they only texted, did it all day long on the job, even did it with the phones in their pockets! The three of us lamented the loss of personal contact among people, and the increasing depersonalization in our society. The husband then referred to our generation as the “last of the ‘face-to-face’s”. We all cracked up, I told him this was a funny-sad, priceless depiction, begging to be shared, and we all moved onto other topics. But it made me think about the truth in the statement. Has personal contact become a quaint vestige of the past, (particularly the ex hippies)? Has an entire generation discarded something precious– face to face conversation, complete with eye and ear contact? And what’s the consequence? Daniel Goleman, in his book “Social Intelligence”, thinks we’re moving toward “social autism”, and that studies indicate it’s effecting our brain structure, and even immune function, which is impacted by the quality of our relationships. Scary! How to fight the tide? Use technology as a tool, not a barrier! Be mindful of when you’re connecting with your phone, and not the live person in front of you! Limit “screen time” for yourself and your children! Have human face-to-face conversations! Anyway, before I get more carried away, I have to sign off. (My husband went to bed an hour ago, and here I’ve been, all cozy “talking” to all of you.) Hmmm………….
Goodnight and good luck,
PS. For more of my thoughts, insights, and tools for relationship issues, go to my website: www.HowToBeABetterCouple.com and for live discussions about relationship dilemmas, go to my BlogTalk Radio show, “The Couplespeak Relationship Forum”. The next scheduled show is on Wednesday, Jan. 12th at 10:00PM: “Sisters– The Good, The Bad, And The In-Between”. It should be fun, and informative!