Sunday, July 27, 2008

Forget the iPhone. I want an iHug!

I love the high-tech tools, and I especially love how they help me to keep in touch. Though we're separated by thousands of miles, my family and I are up-to-the minute in communication with one another. I pix message the 100-degree reading on my car rental thermometer here in Mississippi, and EJG texts me right back about the update on the cousins reunion in New York. I flix message a video of Hansel, our crazy cat, chasing his own tail to my sister in Brooklyn, and she calls me back laughing at the same scene I'm witnessing live. I've even taken part in eSeminars, an online meeting where I worked with teachers from places as far apart as St. Croix and Seattle, all together in real time. The world does seem smaller when we use these tools to connect, and I'm especially grateful for these innovations when I travel for my work.

Even though I'm connected to home through images, text, voice, and video, nothing can replace the human touch. Not the R-rated touching stuff. The hand-holding, bear-hugging, pecks-on-the-lips that happen in the daily lives of loving families that make us human. For 3 1/2 weeks I was away from home and my hands were unheld, my arms unhugged, and my lips unpecked, and I started to feel like my potted impatiens in the hot, late-afternoon July sun. High tech, virtual world, digital connecting may be an effective interim replacement, but connecting cell to cell, biology style, beats it every day.


BJNR said...

You said it! Technology is a great interim replacement to human contact, but it is NOT the same! I'll take hugs over clicks anytime.

BTW, my boss does seminars on the concept of "humanware". He says that software and hardware are useless without support the "humanware". This is the most important facet of technology. I can't agree with him more!!

Cora Spondence said...

I don't know how you do it. I was gone 11 days and from the moment I returned, I haven't left the house except for some serious shopping (and a lovely dinner) and Cal was with me the whole time.
The only thing to be done in your case since travel is certainty with the work is to relish and celebrate each moment when you are together.

MJ said...

I wish we could have filled that hole for you a bit more while we traveled with you but there's nothing like family. The navigatrix has her charms but her hugs suck!

EJG said...

What wonderful writing. Your post could have been published in any respectable newspaper's Technology section.

Funny, we were just talking around the kitchen table about how people are now able to customize what technology they use based on their specific needs and wants. But no current technology will beam you back to us after your workshop is done in some far away place so that we can hug each other before the sun sets on another day.

Liz said...

I have to say though, that I can't think of any family I know that makes more of their time together than you guys do. You are a delight to be around and an encourager to all of us to remember what is really important.