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Tami Shaikh Headshot

All We Need Is the Human Touch

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TECHNOLOGY
Aku Siukosaari via Getty Images
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I was in the kitchen making dinner, as I finished cooking I called my teenage kids to come eat. No one responded. I walked closer to the stairs (as their rooms are upstairs) and called their names, again nothing. I had a choice, to go upstairs and physically call them or to stay down stairs and just send them a text message. So I decided to go with the latter and texted them, and within a minute both of them were downstairs. I asked them why they hadn't responded when I called them and the answer was simple" I was listening to music "and "I was watching a skating video, and when I saw your text, I came down".

That incident actually really bothered me, not that I was upset at them for not listening to my voice, but at myself for falling prey to my device. It was also very eye opening. It made me realize that as humans we have become so addicted to our devices that they have taken over our world. We have replaced real friendships, family time and just plain simple human interaction with our cell phones and tablets. We can spend hours and hours on our devices yet if we have to have the same time conversing with others it seems difficult.

I can also say openly that I am at fault too. When I go to the doctor's office or the DMV , instead of striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to me( which I used to always do) I turn on my cell phone, check Facebook, go through the daily news on HuffPost or if nothing else I read my e books. I spend 30 minutes texting a friend to meet for coffee, and when we finally meet, both of us check our phones atleast every few minutes and we hardly talk.

But in all honesty, I feel like even though we have the world at our fingertips, as humans we are getting lonelier. We know what's happening across the world, yet do we know what our children are watching on these devices. We have an online world which is unreal but exciting. We are thrilled by the number of followers or friends we have on our social media sites yet we can't make that one small phone call to a friend who is hurting or in pain. So many times when I see families at restaurants each one is on their own cell phones, there is hardly any interaction.

Are we becoming lonelier? Has our world lost its human touch? Do we prefer technology over human company? It sad, but the answer to these questions is "yes" I struggle everyday in my life to not let that happen. We are with our "virtual community" but without real people.

Humans were made to be with humans not electronic devices. We need to turn our eyes towards our human fellows instead of small lit up screens. The touch of someone we love or even someone unknown is so much more comforting than just typing away. There is no comparison to hugging someone who is not well, talking to family at dinner time, just holding someone's hand and saying sorry or just listening to a dear friend or sibling vent. We need the human touch back in our lives.