“My how times have changed!”
About twenty years ago there was a commercial advising everyone to “Reach out and touch someone”. I believe it was an AT&T commercial. In those days it was all about keeping in touch with family and friends with a phone call.
We would call families on weekends. Catch up on the latest events. Make plans to get together for dinner or spend some time together after work for dinner. We actually kept in touch by talking with one another.
My, how times have changed. I really don’t want to sound like a Maxine character, but frankly during the last run up to the elections, I wished people would stop reaching out to touch me. The barrage involved intense, nonstop touching…by phone call, on television, and even on social media! Has it always been this invasive? Or is this just an intensification of everything else that has been magnified thanks to our very visual, technology oriented society? I dread it beginning again.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I welcome and even actively pursue the information highway. So much to learn, to scramble my brainwaves, to …ummm. Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit. I think it gives me a headache sometimes.
But seriously, maybe it’s time we take a step back. Would that even be possible? Could we actually restart some face-to-face time. Not Skype or Apple iPhone face-to-face. How about more up close and personal discussions? The kind of conversations that are open and civil. No hiding behind a computer screen blasting away at someone’s beliefs or identity. I think we need the kind of reaching out where people actually listen to one another. And HEAR one another. And TALK to one another face-to-face. Not with Hate, or Anger, Distrust, or total dismissal. But with a desire to learn, cooperate, maybe even compromise and come up with some real ideas. Is compromise such an ugly idea?
In the meantime, I’m enjoying another form of communication. My golden retriever communicates regularly by reaching out to touch me. (What were YOU thinking I meant?) Tilly gently places her paw on my arm to tell me she’s there. She snuggles close laying her head in my lap when she senses I need a bit of comfort. I love that she reaches out. Occasionally there’s even a little bit of a kiss licked onto my hand. She listens and sometimes even shares her opinions.
At least my dog still knows how to reach out and touch someone!