The electronic age is wonderful, it truly is! I love the fact that I can type out a few words, click the mouse and as if by magic, answers appear. I remember how I used to wait for Saturdays because my mother would drive me to the library and I could look up things that I wanted to know about in the encyclopedias or the card catalogues. It was something I always looked forward to.
So, having the ability to form a question, click and have resources deluxe pop up for me to explore just blows me away. It is something I never cease to marvel at and be amazed by.
I also love how there can be live conversations and communications with people halfway across the world. It brings people so much closer together and can help keep people connected in ways that they could never hope to stay connected years ago.
Technology and the electronic age is really amazing!
But – – – even with all the help of technology and the advances made in electronics, research shows that very few of us manage to develop and maintain meaningful friendships the way people used to.
We don’t want to discount the significance of friendship. Recent research links things like work production and satisfaction and healthy eating directly to friendships. It has been proven that if people have a close or best friend who eats healthy, they almost double their chances of becoming and staying healthy eaters themselves. And people who have friends at work are much more productive and enjoy their jobs than people who feel they have no friends at work.
It seems, however, that electronics and technology seem to be focusing on shortening our interactions with other people even more than they already are. Our ever-increasing pace of life does not lend itself very readily to the time needed to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships.
Where clicking in a browser for information leaves me with a vast amount of information and fills me with possibilities to explore, clicking on an email, texting a comment, or tweeting a hash tag and a word or two doesn’t fill me with a feeling of connection that I would call meaningful or substantial.
There is no real substitute for a face to face with a good friend or a heart to heart with a great one. And we can advance technology to the nth degree, but when it comes to friendships and relationships, we ought not fool ourselves into believing it is enough to settle for something quick and virtual.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!