A Deliberate Human

Technology is both dynamic and fascinating...just don’t lose sight of the importance of human interaction.

De.lib.er.ate: done consciously and intentionally; engage in long and careful consideration.

Earlier this year I was walking around the streets of New York City with a teenager. Each time I visit NYC I’m in awe of it - the culture, the architecture, the hustle and bustle on the streets and the fact that you can walk down one block and hear five different languages spoken. The teenager, however, was not moved by any of this and barely looked up while texting a friend. She was missing all the things I was taking in - she was missing the experience.

In May I was invited to Singapore with a group of journalists from around the world. Singapore is a highly technologically-driven country and a few of us were discussing the potential problems that could arise with too much technology.

Is it possible that an excessive amount of technology can cause people to stop communicating with one another altogether? At some point in the future will our days be void of any meaningful conversation and instead be replaced with interaction with robots?

A thought crossed my mind as we were talking, “Each person is going to have to choose to be a deliberate human,” I said.

Think about it...we live in an era where you can order your food online and have it delivered to your door. You can pretty much do all your banking online or through an ATM. Social Media, FaceTime and Google Hangouts make it so you don’t have to be in actual contact with a person to feel like you’re catching up with them. We ask Alexia and Siri the answers to our questions instead of having human-to-human discussions. In the near future drones will be dropping off your mail and self-driving cars will pick you up and drop you off wherever you need to go. Where will our humanity be?

"We are social beings and confidence is framed by our interactions in the social world. It's rather difficult to be confident or shy on a desert island with no one to share your coconuts!" - Gary Wood

I’ll be honest, the introvert in me sometimes loves the idea of “dealing” with less people. People can be messy. They have feelings and opinions. But those things are also what I love about people. I can’t imagine going for too long without deep conversations I have with friends. Or to not remember what it's like to be deeply moved, or to feel compassion or extreme excitement. All of these emotions are what being a human is about. And let's not forget that I love to hug. I don’t want to hug a robot. They’re terrible huggers.

Technology is amazing. It constantly pushes the boundaries of our thinking and allows us to excel. We could sit around for days naming off technology that has changed the world for the better. But don’t forget about your humanity. Remember to put down your device and look up. Don’t be that couple in the restaurant staring at your phones instead of staring into each other’s eyes. Instead of taking that selfie with your food, why don't you go eat food with someone. Engage (REALLY engage) in person-to-person conversation. Choose to be a deliberate human.