A couple in their 30’s walked into my vet’s office holding a pet carrier with a cat. I had been sitting there with my dog waiting for the veterinarian who was handling several walk-in emergencies. It was to be a long wait before we’d be seen.
That couple in their early thirties caught my attention right away. So much so that I found it hard not to keep glancing at them. They walked in emotionless and sat down across from me. They didn’t say a word to each other. The woman, a blond was average in looks and clothing, yet attractive. The man was a decent looking guy too and he looked fit in his casual attire. They both had expensive looking wedding rings on.
This couple sort of seemed like zombies. Let me explain. Absolutely no human emotion or contact. I thought perhaps they may have been angry with each other but it really didn’t seem so. The second they sat down, almost in unison, they pulled out their respective smartphones. The woman had a gold colored iPhone and the man had a black one.
I couldn’t help but sneak continuous looks at them. Not one word to each other. They were completely immersed in their phones. Scanning and reading one screen to the next. They never once looked at each other. It was about 10 minutes before the woman showed her husband her phone and when he looked, he cracked a small smile. That lasted about 2 seconds. They immediately went back to looking at their respective phones. The lack of human contact and complete emotionless demeanor was so obvious!
We had a long wait on our hands so while observing the two immersed in their phones I pondered if this was humanity’s future. Perhaps, our not too distant future. Limited human contact. Limited emotional contact. Dealing with computers much more than dealing with humans. I know several people who prefer to text rather than to talk on their phones. They like to talk by quick abbreviated words rather than by direct human contact. Actually, that is pretty common nowadays. Some people tell their friends to text them instead of calling them. Some actually get angry if you call instead of text! Isn’t that crazy?
We pay bills on-line. When talking with businesses and utility companies and the like we talk to computerized voices, not human beings. We use ATM’s and mechanical deposits at our banks instead of going in and dealing with humans. Think about it, every day we become more and more removed from people.
As I watched the couple who now, to me, seemed like computers themselves—computers with skin, I wondered how this emotionless couple could even bother to break away to have sex! I’m serious! Okay, maybe I have a hell of an imagination and granted I was a bit bored waiting for the vet and had lots of free time to think but they seemed so non-human—like human duds! So removed from each other, so caught up in their digital computerized life that it was hard for me to imagine a moment of passion and human get down and dirty for these two!
Is that our future? Sexless unless it’s digital porn. Or more realistically perhaps, sex with a short bit of human contact and then back to computerized cyberspace? Procreation by sperm donorship? I wonder how much our phones, our devices, our computerized lives will take away from our humanity and also our human joy. There’s not much better in life than looking into someone’s eyes and connecting. And of course there’s not much better than having real sex with physical and emotional connection.
Certainly seems to be happening. Human contact is less for many. I’d bet that every day that goes by it will become more and more impersonal for humanity. We will get shallower. Less able to deal with people face to face. Less able to deal with problems that have emotion in the mix. Einstein supposedly said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I say that is happening now. I say that without moderation mixed in with our technical devices we will be a world full of human duds. A land full of human computers with skin. A world full of humans with souls withering away at the vine.