No, this isn’t a story about Joan Rivers. In fact, until this very moment, I hadn’t realized I’d stolen her line. “Let’s talk”. Didn’t she used to say that? I don’t think she uses it anymore, so hopefully there’ll be no royalties involved.
I mean it in a totally different context anyway.
My version has to do with yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt: The Next Big Thing. The question for us to answer was, “What will the next must-have technological innovation be?”
Personally, I’d like to see us take a step back.
Don’t you miss sitting with a man, seeing his feelings for you revealed in his eyes? Or seeing the look of delight on a friend’s face, when you regale her with the details of a recent date you had. Or watching your parents’ eyes light up when you surprise them with a visit.
Don’t you miss hearing, and seeing, a reaction to what you’re saying, or doing. Don’t you miss gestures? Seeing smiles and even frowns. Watching brows furrow in confusion. The batting of eye lashes. A downward glance. A warm touch. A sigh. A giggle. A big belly laugh. A whisper.
Don’t you miss nods of agreement? Shrugs. Even the sound of fingers drumming on tabletops.
Yeah, that’s right. I think it might be a great idea if the next must-have innovation was a return to the face-to-face conversation.
Enough already with only speaking in the short forms and symbols of text messages. Enough already with quick emails dashed off as you get into an elevator or board a plane or wait for the traffic light to turn green. Enough already with having to settle for whatever can be tweeted in 140 characters or less.
No one looks anyone in the eye any more. We’re so used to communicating in short, clipped sentences when we do get together, we run out of things to say before we’ve ordered our drinks, or our meals, or our grande unsweetened, low fat, mocha frappuchinos. For that matter, we’re losing our communication skills, period. We’re forgetting how to interact with each other. To read body language. To listen. To share space. To read signals.
Hasn’t it hit you yet? There are generations of kids who have no idea what I’m talking about. For the most part they only communicate through Facebook and Twitter, emails and text messages. Who knows if they’ll ever really be able to form complete sentences.
Intimacy is going to go the way of the Edsel if we’re not careful.
So let’s get together, before it’s too late.