One of the most talked about generation gaps between my peers and our predecessors is the question of whether or not technology has made us more or less intimate.
Boomers have been known to say, “All that texting and Facebooking and IMing. . . what ever happened to a good old fashioned face-to-face conversation?”
On the other hand. . .
Millennials tent to espouse, “I am able to regularly communication with friends and family in and out of town. Technology has made this instantaneous and enjoyable.”
I live up to my Millennial expectations by spending a good nine hours a day on the computer. I use email, GChat, Google Talk, BlackBerry Messenger, Twitter (@LaurenBegley), Facebook, texting, LinkedIn and others, to stay connected to coworkers, clients, friends and family.
While I do agree that there is not a technology-based interaction as powerful as a face-to-face conversation, I find myself more drawn to the position Stefana Broadbent takes in this TED video:
She claims that technology has, in fact, made us more intimate. Even though our digital networks may include hundreds, if not thousands of people, she claims that we still only maintain regular, intimate communication with a handful (4-6 people on Facebook, under 5 people on IM, 2 people via Skype).
While the medium of communication may not be as warm and fuzzy as a chat over the dinner table, we are able to connect on a regular basis with people all around the world—This is, as she says, the “democratization of intimacy,” which technology has allowed.
While I might prefer that conversation over the dinner table, I am thankful I was able to Skype with my family and friends while I studies abroad and I can connect with my college friends today, even though I live states away.