Email, twitter and facebook all have their place, even in the business
world. But they are no substitute for one-on-one conversation.
Technology has accelerated the rate of transactions and superficial
connectivity. It has proven invaluable for gathering information,
confirming calendars or just saying “hello” and “I love you.”
can’t replace networking human-to-human, however. Relationships are
rich and take time to unfold. Texting and posting, as Turkle points out,
lets us present the self we want to be because we can edit at will to
shape our image. There is no depth or sincerity that comes from a
community of contacts built on 140 characters of short, well-crafted
blasts of data or thought.
The art of conversation, the
chance to truly hone interpersonal skills and learn from each other, is
compromised each time we hit send rather than stop by and engage a
friend or a colleague directly.
I for one couldn’t function
without my cellphone or iPad. I need the access and convenience these
devices deliver. But for those under 40, including the impressive list
in this annual issue (see page 40), I offer this piece of advice: Take a
deep breath, set the phone down and find someone to talk to. You might
learn something about them – and, most importantly, firstname.lastname@example.org