Are you losing the human touch?

You find your friend’s name in “Contacts” on your smartphone, select it and the phone number. Your smartphone dials automatically, and after a couple rings you’re startled to hear, “Hello?”

“Mark?” you stutter, surprised to hear a live human voice.

“John? Is that you?” your friend asks.

“Uh … yeah … hi …” you stammer.

“Hi! What’s up?” he asks.

“Uh … I was just calling to leave a message for you …”

In our constantly connected world, we have become accustomed to not actually connecting with people in a live format. We send text messages, we tweet, we post, we email, we leave voicemail messages, but we don’t really talk to each other. In fact, many people report they prefer to reach a person’s voicemail to leave a message than actually call someone with the intent of having live interaction.

Some say not connecting live allows them to multi-task but still stay connected; others say it’s a way to maintain control of their time. The bottom line is that we’re becoming more personally distant when we lose interest in having a live conversation with other human beings. This attitude prompts us to turn inward, feed our selfishness, and minimize having to have genuine fellowship with other human beings.

The more impersonal we become with how we connect, the more detached we become from others, the more we care about ourselves and the less we care about others. Connections that are purposely limited to impersonal communication are more about exchanging sentences than sharing life together.

I’m not saying we can’t make and have significant connections with others through a variety of means of communicating, but when we prefer not to have live human interaction, we are moving away from the authentic means of human relationship.

If you’re finding yourself preferring to reach someone’s voicemail than the actual person, you know it’s time for a social media fast and time to go be with other live human beings.