Impersonal

Today, like it or not, we are all “connected”. We can instantly reach anybody by phone, tablet, computer, etc. but talking face to face with another human being has become less common. Everything we do seem more impersonal, not involving personal interest.

Do not hug me!

When we need a bit of information, instead of calling somebody we turn to the web. We pan for data through Google. It is way more efficient. You don’t have to go through greetings, small talk or thanks. Just show me what I need and I will do the rest.

It is more productive that’s true, but also more impersonal. It suits some but disturbs others. Today, you could probably manage to live for a month without ever having to talk to another human being. Our machines will talk to other machines to minister our wishes.

But there is a price to pay for this convenience. By relying on bots, we lose our ability to relate to other people. Everything we do now is lacking emotion, human warmth. It becomes thus easier to start a war just by pushing buttons.

At the outset, America was basically an Anglo-Saxon country, with everything that it implies. Traditionally, Anglos were more reserved; they lacked the warmth, the exuberance of their Latin cousins.

But lately, things have changed. Originally, once an American had shaken your hand, he would never do it again. At your next meeting, a simple “hello” would suffice.

In the last few months though, American males have taken to embrace each other. And in true American fashion, they went overboard. They now embrace everybody anywhere.

In my book, you hug somebody after a long absence or in a case of high emotion. Going for a bear hug each time you see somebody is an exaggerated (often embarrassing) gesture.

I am not anti-hugs mind you; I truly appreciate them when they are appropriate, but I would not make it a regular routine. I am more flexible with that though when the hugging comes from the opposite sex.

It does not mean that you should absolutely rein in your natural inclination, but there is a time and a place for everything.

Male bonding yes, but in moderation, por favor!

Besos y abrazos a todos.

Alain

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