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Silence is Not Golden

Technology has its upsides. There’s no doubt about that. In fact, the existence of technology is based on the premise of making things easier (well, depends on who you ask). Still early into the relentlessly innovative 21st century, people from all around the world continue to have a front row seat to the show of crazy ideas coming to surprising fruition. Seeing and, in some instances, using these inventions is incredible. Whether it’s a fully electric car, a future commercial flight to space or a smartphone that operates as a handheld computer, nothing seems off limits. The latter is the most fascinating at this point because of how it defines the days, hours, minutes and seconds of our lives. Checking email, text messages, the Internet, pictures, videos, social media, countless apps (informative and silly) and a bevy of other distractions take us away from what’s occurring right in front of us. On too many occasions, we (myself included) have our heads angled downward.

Unfortunately, this is not the only thing on the downward trend.

When convenience consumes too much of our reality, the responsibility for personal interaction declines at an equal (and frustrating) rate. One shouldn’t rely on the easy disappearance and avoidance of providing answers to a variety of questions behind our battery-charged electronic devices. Silence is the easy non-response, but it also is what’s found in the gutter of social interaction today. Even if the answer to a question is not good news, at least there is some degree of closure. This type of finality can at least allow someone to know the truth and move on with their day (and lives in some cases). But with our “smartphones” and its instant access and responsiveness, as well as its prolonged avoidance capabilities, communication is too often a fractured practice nowadays.

So many aspects of modern life have been made easier than decades earlier with the breakthrough of various technologies. However, maybe there’s a problem here. Is it possible that these new social norms/”shortcuts” have stripped away the necessary completeness when it comes to personal interaction and communication?

All I can say is I was supposed to go to a Goo Goo Dolls concert with a girl I’ve been dating for 3 months last night and I was blown off without a single text, phone call or hint of a notice.

That silence produced more heartache than one of the band’s classic hits.

Maybe we don’t need smartphones…maybe we need better phones with a built-in app called common courtesy.