12/08/2010 05:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Technology and the Holiday Disconnect

I remember fondly as a kid, hanging out in the living room with my brother, mom and dad in front of the Christmas Tree. We'd have snacks, hot chocolate, and stories to listen to, while we imagined what surprises were wrapped in festive gift wrap. We would exchange jokes, listen to Christmas music on the radio, and all in the world was fine. When I look around myself today, I see holiday gatherings strewn with iPhones, Nintendo DS handsets, MP3 players, and ... worst of all ... none of these human beings is interacting with anyone else.

The technology of today, what I'm coining as the New Technology, is one of individualism. It's a technology not purely of convenience, nor is it one of improvement, but rather the new technology brings out the anti-social nerd in each of us. Instead of sharing our world with each other, we find ourselves hiding in our own worlds instead, whether it be listening to music, watching video, or playing games. Its the essence of the adolescent "Don't bother me, I'm busy" syndrome.

The same new technology also causes a sense of alienation; the inability to translate how we interact in virtual social networks, into how we interact in real life. How many times have you run into someone you know on Facebook, only to feel that weird feeling of awkwardness; where you don't really know what to say to each other, because this time you will actually have to experience the other persons reaction, in real time. The cushioning effect that the internet lends to our online conversations is no longer there to protect us.

In a way, it hurts me to look around and see how disconnected people are, due to technology, gadgets, and the internet.

We really need to learn to move away from our monitors, put down our cellphones and PSPs, pull the earbuds out, and get back to the way we USED to interact -- as human beings.

Because there is no software, gadget, app nor update, that tastes as good as a nice cup of hot chocolate...