We are in an age where technology and human communication are merging at light year speeds and we hear the cadence of the message to connect. We hear it in our business dealings and also in our personal lives. What does it really mean to connect?
Is it simply just using neat technology and platforms to add people of like interests to a virtual social network to share mostly trivia and location information? Is it simply passing out business cards at every mega networking event or email blasting your whole contact group about the latest deal? Is it answering basic questions about likes and dislikes; and then running your answers through some program to spit out a match for you to date for a potential long term partner?
Well, kind of.
If it was simply just about the things I mentioned above, it really is not about the connecting. I believe that we can achieve so much more now with the technology that is available. However it must be built on something so much more basic and so very human.
If we couple technology and our already fast past paced human life -controlled by the outward parameters of structures and processes – we will sound like the hollow tinging echos of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz lacking a heart. We have to add the human factor to our connection.
Think back to Main Street USA. People connected with everyone because they knew each other. Technology should allow us to expand that main street environment. It should allow us to expand our humanity and not replace it.
Take the time to really connect with people and learn about them, communicate and get to know them if they actually own the shop next to you, or live in the house across the street from you, or sat on the desk next to you in class.
When you are friends on Face Book, there is a reason you are called “friends.” If you are “linked in” , are you really? If you have “favorites”, do they know that?
I am finding that when I truly connect, my world is enriched by wonderful people that come into my life as colleagues, friends and even more.
Let this be the age where technology expands our humanity and not decrease it.