The Human Touch

by Joan Houghton

Where Has it Gone?

The Human Touch?

Will it be back or are we content with a robot voice?

Is there no such thing as a smile, a nudge, a frown and a lovely human voice?

Or are we going to live by push-button-this and push-button that?…not just for communication, but even for fun? What has become of the old-fashioned neighborhood where people sit  on front porches instead of enclosed in homes looking at their private back yards?

Old-time sandlot baseball has given way to highly organized competitive games or Wiis, or watching pro league ball, or batting against a cartoon figure on a TV screen.

Where is the old-fashioned romance—hearts skipping a beat at the sight of a certain girl or boy  at school –which now becomes a jump into the sheets or a car for a “quickie”, an act of sex, instead of a lovely committed expression of love.

Is the satisfaction of accomplishment the same when you cook your own meal, as when you push the microwave buttons?  These conveniences  are terrific, just so we don’t lose ourselves in keeping up with the latest technology.

Has the “me” generation morphed into the “instant gratification generation” where we want what we want when we want it?’

How about entertaining ourselves with a ball, a book or gardening, or a walk in the woods.

Do you know a child who would choose to play “I Spy”, “Hide and Seek  or other simple imaginative games like “pretend” school or store or hotel devised from yardsticks or blackboards or closets, or do they need a myriad of plastic, colorful, talking toys??

What happened to “tag, you’re it” or jacks, skipping rope and Red Rover, even hula hoops, for the FUN of playing instead of fierce competition? Don’t get me wrong. I am a lover of the microwave, TV and email, but have they become all-consuming to the detriment and exclusion of the warm human voice?

It’s possible now to order everything in life by machine without having to see or speak to a human being; or you can even contact your family members in another room by cellphone instead of  face to face.

Are we too busy for civility?

Is it now out of vogue to make fun just by being together and using imagination and visiting or—do we have a constant need for the latest “pretend” or robot toy?

I miss the days of the milkman, the mailman, the corner candy store or bakery.

I deplore the constant bombardment of cheap, vulgar nudity and sex on TV and magazines.

It IS fabulous to have a 2-inch gadget that will bring you news, sports, music, movies and contact with others by texting without the warmth of even a human voice….but have we lost something?

Is there ever a time to just sit and ponder life’s meaning, or just exercise in some way without a machine or a need to compete…or can we still just ENJOY “being” with a HUMAN BEING who has feelings, and cares, and problems and love and friendship to give—who has THE HUMAN TOUCH, A HUMAN VOICE, and a HOST OF HUMAN CARING WAYS?

The preceding was written in 2007 and now it is 2011 and technology has been busy and the media have kept us informed about  remarkable Skype, Face Book, I-Pad, I-Pod, Nook, Blackberry, Twitter, and Kindles.  The list goes on and on and it is all wonderful.  In fact, I am a devoted TV fan, and am busily typing away  on one of those technological gadgets that I love.   But I still ask the question, “ARE WE LOSING THE HUMAN TOUCH”?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Emily
    May 01, 2011 @ 13:24:19

    Thank you for writing this, Joan. I couldn’t agree more. Technology is wonderful in so many ways, but those of us who have lived both before and with it, see that there is a price to be paid – and it is the human connection as you suggest. The sad part is that most of the 20 something generation doesn’t understand the human connection they are missing because technology is the norm. Yes, we need to ask more questions – thank you for reminding us.


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