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Cover for Volume 13: Number 5: Dec, 2017

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Volume 13: Number 5: Dec, 2017

Feature Article: Tech Cannot and Will Not Replace Touch

By James R. Rickabaugh, Ph.D.

We have more options and vehicles for communicating now than at any time in history. We can Tweet, text, Facetime, message, Hangout, and Skype. The list could go on and seems to grow each year. Of course, we also can still go “old school” by calling, writing and even talking with others face-to-face. What is important is that at the core of each of these options is one consistent element: people connecting with each other. We need to remember that what matters most and drives the development and popularity of this growing list of technological options is our need to connect and communicate with other people. 


The need for relationships, to interact with people, support and feel supported by others, be a part of others’ lives and have them be a part of ours is not new. In fact, it has been a crucial part of happiness and satisfaction in life for most people since the dawn of civilization. As technology becomes more powerful, flexible and sophisticated, it offers more and different options to meet this need, but technology has not and will not replace it. 


As each new communication tool emerges, we need to consider carefully what it adds to our potential to connect and the most appropriate role it might play. We often treat communication vehicles and venues as though they play the same role and are interchangeable. They do not and are not. 



Other articles in this issue: