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Age of digital connect. Are we slowly losing the emotional one

Nimish Goel 
on 17 September 2015

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I was visiting a client of mine today; their office is in Jasola, New Delhi.  When I reached the building and went to the lift, I could see couple of people waiting for the lift to come down.  Both of them had their cell phones held with them and I could see that they were looking at only two places – at the lift to watch the nos. decreasing from 5 to 4 to 3 and so on or looking at their cell phones.

This scene is not only when you are standing outside the lift, the moment you enter the lift you will realize people immediately looking down to their cell phones held in their hands and surprisingly don’t even recognize those getting inside the lift.  The element of greeting each other or even smiling at each other has significantly gown down.  Have people started considering each other as mere machines with no emotions?

It is so surprising in today’s digital world we are slowly losing our emotional connect.  People have stopped looking at each other and the only thing they want to be glued is to their cell phones or laptops or ipads or TVs.  You go anywhere and you can notice this human dis-connect quite evidently.   

If you go to a restaurant, the sight of children hooked on to their iPads and playing relentlessly without knowing what their parents are doing or not having any idea of the kind of conversation happening amongst them is quite common now-a-days. 

You go to any of your clients office and if you look at any person and by chance pass a smile, the immediate reaction is to look down on the computer screen and behaving as if your smile wasn’t noticed or even if noticed, it wasn’t more important than the computer screen. 

During morning walks have you not noticed people ignoring you when they cross you behaving as if you don’t exist.  The moment you are about to reach near to them, they either look down or else the best way – look at the cell phone.

Have we forgotten how much pleasurable indeed it is to smile to other people, have we forgotten how much we feel good when we wish someone not known to us, have we forgotten how much fun it is to spend time with parents and children rather than just playing with electronic devices.

It is such a pain to look at this scenario and I wonder what would happen with our kids, 15-20 years down the line.  Would they ever know how does it feel to be without technology and the pleasure of talking to people rather than talking to machines?

I have seen people now-a-days sending birthday and greetings over Facebook or WhatsApp.  Facebook pages are flooded with such wishes and greetings.  What an impersonal way to wish a birthday!!  Gone are the days when people used to feel elated hearing their phones ring with birthday wishes.  Gone are the days when people used to proudly express their feelings when someone called them over to wish.  Now its all written using technology and without any human intervention.  What a shame!!

I personally feel then unless you don’t know the person very well or you don’t have his/her telephone no, wishing someone using technology shows the wisher’s non-seriousness towards the other person.

Now-a-days even in schools, the teachers are more comfortable making whatsapp groups and talking to parents over messages.  Though, I agree that’s much more convenient and quick but not at the cost of making the human connect.

Don’t you think this is not correct?  Don’t you think we need to spend time with people rather than machines, don’t you think we actually need that emotional connect re-established amongst us.  Machines definitely cannot understand us the way humans can.  Machines surely cannot read our smiles, our emotions and our way of thinking.  Machines are only one way communicating devices, whereas we as humans need two-way communication to make things happen.

Even if times have changed, even if the world today pays more attention to gadgets than guys, even if humans at large are happier connecting to internet and electronic devices than calling people over telephones, I still believe nothing in this world can change the human touch.   

Whatever the world at large may think and even if the world doesn’t agree, I think we should:

Still call people and wish them birthdays;

Still call people and wish them good luck for their new assignments and projects;

Still greet people when we meet them on the road or lift or any other place, rather than looking down towards our cell phones;

Say thank you by calling up and not through a message or WhatsApp;

Be wildly excited about other people and show genuineness when talking to them;

Stop considering cell phones our friends because they truly aren’t. 

The top leaders, top entrepreneurs and super effective people realize the importance of human connects and they always follow the right way to be in touch, i.e. human being and not technology.

Take care and stay blessed…

Authored by Nimish Goel who by profession is a qualified chartered accountant but by passion, is an active blogger.  Nimish has worked with EY and PwC in India and has also worked with KPMG in Europe.  He manages his blog www.nimishgoel.com and runs a consulting company (www.ibadvisors.co).


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