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Family & Caregivers Dec 15, 2021
Hugs, Smiles, & Technology
by Jenn Buman

As the end of 2021 draws near, it’s time to reflect upon what I’ve learned this year.  Two things stand out in sharp contrast – the importance of human contact and the significance of technology. Seemingly polar opposites now act as two sides to the same coin.

First, did we ever really appreciate the power of a hug before social distancing? Or the psycho-emotional value of seeing someone’s smile? And do you remember when we simply said, “Yes” to a party invitation? Without agonizing over how many guests will be vaccinated or not.

Our collective psyche suffers because of “social distancing”. There’s nothing social about it. Instead, far too many are trapped in isolation.

Second, did you ever think technology would be an answer to the human connection dilemma?

Previously, I avoided Zoom and FaceTime. They seemed too impersonal. Just like answering machines seemed rude when first introduced.

But now, I can’t imagine doing business without these tools. They provide an integrated component of everyday life.

Instead of being cold and impersonal, technology brings opportunities for human connection.

The at-risk and frail can at least see their loved one’s face. Catch the nuance of their unique expressions.

Grandparents can keep building relationships with the next generation. And many seniors notice how much easier it is to hear on a Zoom or FaceTime call. Maybe it’s because we can see lips moving or control our own sound volume. Anyway, technology provides a window into another’s life.

Yes, my priorities have changed this year. I value a hug, a smile, and technology.  

Most of all…I’ve learned how much I appreciate YOU!

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