What Has Happened to Human Interaction?

human interaction, ethics, digital detox

Life is busy with a never ending list of “to dos.” Between our jobs (maybe two), taxiing kids around, shopping, cleaning, cooking and trying to save a little money while doing all of it, there never seems to be enough time in a day. On top of it all, we’re all tethered to our smart phones trying to catch a glimpse of notifications from Facebook or Twitter. We’ve been engrained with such a sense of political correctness and fear of offending someone that half of the things that come out of our mouths probably aren’t even close to what we would really like to say.

Sometimes I wonder if we’ve just flat out forgotten how to talk to each other.

Two recent experiences showed me how it should be done, and highlighted the fact that most of us have a lot to learn about how to talk to our fellow human beings.

human interaction

Image courtesy of stock images /

The Grocery Store:

I was walking through the grocery store recently looking for ice cream toppings, but having a little trouble. I spotted an employee and asked for some assistance. This may not be a direct quote, but what she said was something like this:

“ Ooh, I could go for some ice cream right now, that sounds GREAT! I could walk with you and take you right to them if you’d like, but if we turn and look down this main isle here, do you see that display all the way up against the far wall next to the flowers? That’s where you’ll find every possible ice cream topping you’ll ever need.”

She could have simply pointed and said, “over there, against the wall.” She could have beckoned me to follow her and taken me to the display. But what she said, and how she said it made me feel like I was a valued customer. She was talking to me as fellow person, and not just servicing a request.

Acquaintance At The Gym

I was finishing up my workout when a friend I hadn’t seen in months spotted me as he came around the indoor track. He didn’t just wave or give me the obligatory, “Hello,” as he ran by. He threw off his headphones, stopped running, and thrusted a handshake at me.

“How you doing, man?” He said excitedly with a huge smile on his face.

What happened next was a 10 minute conversation of him asking me questions. He asked how my job was going, how the family was, and what my son was up to these days. He couldn’t of cared less about talking about what was going on in his life, he wanted to know about me.

I left both of these conversations consciously aware that I was in a better mood because of the interaction I had with these people. I want to be one of those people. I want to be the kind of person that when someone walks away from a conversation with me they’re genuinely glad that they talked to me that day.

I know we’re all just trying to get through life the best we can, but since we’re all here together, why not make it as easy and enjoyable for each other as possible?

Have you had a conversation with someone recently that just made you happy? How about the opposite?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • Human interaction nowadays has totally changed because of technology. But I am still glad I had talked to someone during my workout recently. It do makes me happy because she has a good sense of humor. We talk about each other’s lives and we do laugh of the funny things that we reminisced during childhood and up. We also had same things to do in common. She was actually a good person. I’m happy I’ve known her and had a new friend. 🙂

  • I run into great human interaction experiences often. I think that our expectations are all quite low because we expect that technology removes human interaction principles and makes us all socially awkward, but we forget that there are so many opportunities (and some necessary) to interact without technology that we, for the most part, still have those skills.

  • I so related to this post. I can’t count how many times my husband and I are at a restaurant and people at the table near us would be on their phone chatting with someone not present. Or texting. Or playing a game. All while their table partner sit there in silence, ignored. Or they are also talking, texting or playing of their cell phone. I often want to ask why they even came to the restaurant together since they obviously don’t want to be with each other. I feel so strongly about this I once advised my son not to get involved with someone who -during the course of a date with him- took phone calls from friends. To me it means the friends are more important than him.

    I think people communicate this way because it appears to absolve them of the repercussions of anything they say since the communication is from a faceless, voiceless entity.

  • We go camping and when you get to the campground it’s like a switch goes off in everybody’s brain. People wave to each other, you can say hi to total strangers and not get looked at as if you’re about to rob them, you find that people give things to their neighbors for no reason other than because they’re there. Campgrounds are probably a lot like neighborhoods used to be.

  • Church is a great place for real, human interaction. My church, anyway. I’m old enough to say, “back when I was young….” I miss those days.

  • @Marie – glad to hear you still value human interaction! You have to be a little careful at the gym, though….some people don’t like to be held up from their workout. 🙂

  • @Daisy – It helps restore your faith in the human race when you experience a nice conversation, doesn’t it? Technology is fine….I love using Facebook to keep in touch with people far way, but it’s no substitute for live conversation!

  • @Kathy- I guess it’s one way to fill in those awkward silences…lol. I’m about to implement a “no phones” policy when my family goes out to eat….let’s try actually talking to each other!!!

  • @MoneyBeagle – One thing we all forget is that we can learn so much from each other just by talking to the people around us. I’ve been camping a few times and agree with you….it’s nice to see people so friendly and willing to talk to you!

  • @Cathie – our church is like that too…we have fellowship afterwards – there’s coffee and breads and cookies. Everyone is welcome to stay and chat for a few minutes after service. Thanks for your comment!

  • @largsjaeger – the campground analogy is an interesting one….I’ve been camping a few times and can understand what you’re talking about. Inviting neighbors over for a campfire, or a drink, or to share in a meal seems to be second nature. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment