owen at owengreaves dot com

Whatever Happened To Face-To-Face?

twofacesWhatever happened to meeting face-to-face, is this no longer the best way to build relationships, to build trust and the best way to move products and services. I find myself spending more and more time online than I do out in the market place interacting and networking, is something broken here or is the world truly being driven more and more indoors? I have also found that it’s far too easy to misread typed words because there’s no body language or tone of voice, talk about being misunderstood! My world is getting smaller and smaller by the moment, and me being the highly relational type needs to interact with others. So how do we accept or fight this paradigm of living online to get anything done or to get what you want?

Now I’ve been a computer geek for a very long time and I embrace new technologies, even the ones that make me wonder if we should be developing them. Computers are getting smaller, TV’s are thinner, computers run so much of our electronics now we couldn’t go back to a time without them if we wanted to. You know how you can tell if you can’t live without your hand held devices or computer…do you lie in bed at night thinking about how to make so much money so you can tell your boss which bus to get back on? I know you do, because there are so many so called experts out there telling you how to do it, in your e-mail, on your phone it’s everywhere! We are bombarded by so much information now we can’t distinguish the difference between real life and fantasy, (I think daytime soaps started this) Virtual Reality is making huge strides and that’s when we’ll have a real dilemma. But I digress.

Social Media Networks have us, Ala Matrix, Twitter is as real time as you can get and you can make more friends in five minutes than you could face-to-face. Facebook gets you connected to high school buddies much like the old website called Classmates did back in the day. Like golf courses where more business is done in a day than the whole week, Social Media Networks are becoming just like those golf courses, will we want to make that shift or will we hang on to old ways?

So what’s my point, the reality is we are changing at a pace we can’t keep up with technologically, the gap between the haves and have not’s is becoming wider every minute of the day. The truth is we are becoming less connected physically, we are dependent on technology and in the very near future we will be giving control over to technology. We will come to trust the very thing we enjoy blaming for all the crashes and freezes that force us to reboot in the windows world. The shift to Linux is real, most hand held devices run it, not windows….zero’s and one’s are the base from which all things called technology are birthed. So if you think we will be able to go back to the horse and buggy days you are in for a big surprise, technology won’t let us.

Universities are using video conferencing methods and there are more learning management systems out there than ever before making it easier to acquire accreditation online. Newspapers WILL be a thing of the past, everyone is a news reporter now which means the controls for quality are no longer held by the big blues. Which increases the percentage of error but also means we will see and hear even more about events and happenings that are less important than our current global economic meltdown.

ebookWith Nanotechnology – The New Technology, we will see the likes of nanobots doing our work for us, they will learn from their environments and eventually think for themselves. Many a person far smarter than I will argue this point but I’m not convinced we will stay in control of these technologies.The question begs to be asked, who will oversee and say what is acceptable and what is not. In my eBook The New Technology – The End of Mankind? – The Beginning; I scratch the surface on why technology hasn’t saved us time and where the new technology is headed. In the future we will communicate in such a way where you & I will integrate with technology, we will become wireless devices and no longer have to meet face-to-face! If you are interested in getting my eBook please send me an e-mail: owen@owengreaves.com

I have to come to terms with the fact that I eventually will have to learn to live without, I mean human interaction. This electronic world is slowly killing human contact don’t you think? Technology killing human contact, that’s another story to be told.

I would like to hear from you on this, do you agree or disagree, do you think we are doomed and will be sentenced to our rooms to interact on the Internet. Or, will we mantain control?

About Owen Greaves

I'm a Futurist, I write, speak, and teach the open & free business model, the future of business. Create. Differentiate. Deliver.  

4 Comments

  1. Jenifer Olson on April 11, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    Owen, I’m not seeing the dark picture you seem to be painting of the impact of technology on human interaction. Technology is simply a tool that expands our communication choices and broadens our scope/reach into corners of the world we might otherwise never know. As with everything in life, I do believe we need to exercise balance. Nothing can – or should – replace the face-to-face interaction with family, friends, and colleagues. Virtual hugs are highly overrated. 🙂 @jenajean



    • Dude on April 11, 2009 at 11:11 PM

      Hi Jenifer,
      Thanks for your comment. I would like to believe you are right and I would prefer to keep face-to-face interaction but I’m not convinced we can fight off The New Technology, I base this on my research not my emotions. Take a close look at how our own children (I’m assuming you have one or two) interact today, mostly via an electronic device and I rarely ever see them on a phone unless it’s a hand held device. My oldest son has an iPhone and my youngest rarely see’s sunlight. Again thanks.



  2. Linda S. Fitzgerald on April 11, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    Hi Owen,

    We follow each other on Twitter. IMHO, it all comes down to balance. We have an online community, but we started F2F groups (in Indianapolis) to compliment the online piece. I think that’s the best of both worlds. Our Indy women can connect, build relationships and communicate with our online members just as they would with their F2F friends.

    Again. . . it’s a matter of balance. I turned Twitter off most of today because I had serious work to do and I knew if it was “tweeting” all day, I’d get nothing else done.

    I believe the ability to communicate in “real time” with folks across the pond I would haven’t otherwise met – is an awesome gift!



  3. Ben S. on April 13, 2009 at 4:03 PM

    Owen,

    I think it is a little disturbing replacing on-line interactions with real-time interactions. I think you have make a personal effort to reach out to people and spend some face to face time with them.

    What has bothered me a lot is replacing phone calls with texts messages. I feel text messages are even less personal than phone calls and people often send messages to avoid talking on the phone. I think it’s a pretty lame cop-out.

    Personal interactions are much richer experiences but there is not doubt technology is necessary and can make us more efficient. I just don’t believe in becoming so efficient that you never have to actually see anyone.

    Best,

    Ben S.
    Blog Manager
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