Cold But Convenient

There is no doubt that technology has made our life, our work, and our entertainment more available, if not more hectic. But it is debatable whether technology has made our lives more fulfilling. Last week Tom Friedman wrote an article in the New York Times recounting a recent taxi trip in Paris. Between the two of them, Tom and the taxi driver, they were engaged in talking on the phone, sending out email, and watching a DVD on a laptop, all while the taxi driver was making its way across the crowded streets from CDG to the heart of Paris. Not once did they speak amongst themselves – a shame, knowing the secrets that taxi drivers carry.

Now don’t get me wrong. I find it amazing that I can type a message into a two-inch screen and it can arrive in someone’s inbox halfway around the world. What was once only a distant idea is now our reality, and the rate at which our technology is progressing is growing. This is especially so given that I clearly remember sending out my first email in the summer of 1997. The idea of living without email now (let alone not checking it for a few days) is unfathomable for me. I recently joined BlackBerry (read CrackBerry) nation and have since thought: How did people live without this?   

But when all is said and done nothing may ever replace the personal touch of a real-life smile and “hello” or “thank you.” We all know that the =) or “thx” that people digitally throw out nonchalantly is no replacement. Nonetheless, time will tell if our personal touch too will one day be replaced by our increasingly cold, but convenient world.

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