“Runner girl musings: has technology ruined human interaction?”

Runner girl musings: has technology ruined human interaction?

Today as I ran I thought mainly about two recent interactions with customer service representatives. I love shopping online as much as the next girl, but sometimes I want to shop in a store around other people and be helped by a live person. I truly appreciate all of the people who work in sales and serve customers with a smile and a warm tone. These people do still exist … I encountered two friendly sales associates just the other day, as a matter of fact. But, the two recent bad experiences I had are irking me. I was speaking to my husband about this and he echoed my sentiment when he said that he finds that in his work, with his frequent need to contact customer service representatives, he finds that quite often he deals with people who seem bothered by his inquiries and rarely follow through on the request of a phone call back.

So this got me thinking about technology and human interaction. Has technology ruined customer service? So many of us shop, or at the very least, pre-shop, online. Online shoppers get so many of their product questions answered through the stores’ websites and through online customer reviews. Has this online shopping made customer service obsolete? Are companies skimping on training their employees to greet customers and to ask them if they need help, and to do it without making the customer feel as if he is a bother? Could we even go so far as to say that the generation after us is lacking social skills because of excessive use of technology at a young age? Could it be that they never learned that they should make eye contact with others and greet others with a smile?

Now, I’m not suggesting the generations after me are across the board inept in human interaction by any means. I just purchased a vehicle from a salesman much younger than me and my husband, and we agreed that he was warm, approachable, and informative, and the whole exchange was pleasant. Many people possess social skills and widely use technology. It is not as if the two are mutually exclusive. It just seems to me that less and less importance is being placed on human interaction in our society. This is truly a shame, as Interacting with other humans is a basic human need.

Here is what I have decided based on all of these “running musings” about human interaction that I have explored here: I shall try my best to greet others with a warm kindness and to offer to help in any way I can. I truly believe that we all strive to do this already; however, I think that we get caught up in our own daily struggles and we let that affect how we treat others. I can be mindful of my tone and my approach with others. I can do this with students, teachers, parents, and administrators in my job as a high school librarian. I can do this with the parents with which I interact on my daughters’ soccer teams. I can do this with the children and adults with which I volunteer at church. I can do this with my husband, children, parents, and friends. I can be vigilant in my efforts. I can be better.

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