The Impersonal Age

Now that cell phones allow humans to speak with one another from almost anywhere on the planet, actual talking has become passe.  Much to my consternation (and I assume the dismay of many others across the globe), I seldom speak with family and friends unless we are at the same location; texting has become the communication of choice, a technology that is both impersonal and, for those of us who are not wed to smart phones, very frustrating.  After all, text messages cannot match the nuance or specificity of human speech, necessitating a chain of followup texts to clarify the initial "discussion."

Of course, the impersonal experience of texting is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Meetings now occur over the internet, shopping does not involve stores, online courses negate the need for physical classrooms, physicians evaluate patients via telemedicine and many employees work from home.  Actual face-to-face interaction with other humans is becoming so 20th Century.

Many argue that modern communication technology has brought humans closer together and improved the efficiency of education and commerce.  I would add that it has also dehumanized our relationships; the Impersonal Age has commenced.