FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The holidays are upon us - traditionally a time spent with our families, friends and loved ones… intimate gatherings in our homes, which give us all a chance to reconnect. And maybe the need for that is greater than it's ever been.
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Here are a few statistics that might be something for us all to think about:
There are 270 million cell phone subscribers who sent more than 110 billion text messages last December - that was double the number sent a year earlier. The average teenager sends more than 2,000 text messages every month.
At the same time - the average length of a cell phone call declined last year. The problem is, this is all stuff we mostly do alone.
We spend five hours a day watching television… and another two hours on the computer…
Walk down the street in any city in America and notice how many of us never see our surroundings. Our faces are buried in personal communication devices - At the expense of seeing someone smile as they pass you - of noticing someone who might be in need - or of missing something like a changing street light that can actually put you in danger.
It doesn't seem to be a big deal now but my guess is in 20 or 30 years we won't recognize ourselves because of the effect all of this has had.
That we will be different is certain. Whether we'll be better off is very much an open question…
Here’s my question to you: At what cost is technology replacing personal contact?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
So much is lost in communication through technology: tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, even signals sent through our skin. It's easier to lie through technology, and sometimes I even feel more disconnected from the person than if I weren't talking to them at all.
Jack, You and I are about the same age. Times they are a changin’. Get over it.
Christine (from Oxford University Press) writes:
When Oxford lexicographers selected "unfriend" as the 2009 Word of the Year, it was because of the indisputable cultural imprint that the word has left on the past year. An entire generation is coming of age in a time when even friendship is a function of our technology. A pretty sobering observation, don't you think?
Nancy who’s an American in Scotland writes:
Jack, I think the kids are fine. Texting is a fad, and eventually it will pass. Modern technology means that everyone can be informed and educated; I am not worried about the kids and technology. I am worried about parents not having time for their kids, working all the hours God gives. It is us old folks that don't have enough conversations. Teach a Grandfather near you to text!
I am sitting with a colleague right now and we are both on our phones instead of interacting with each other. Yes, technology is taking the place of human interface.
I will tell you the cost: last night I saw a story in the news where a man married an Avatar online. Got the point?
John from New Jersey writes:
It's not costing anything. You sound like you’re getting old and cranky, just like the nay-sayers when the telephone came out. You need some time off. I'll Google spas in Amish country for you.