This video was shown at a workshop I attended. While I appreciate where the author was coming from, and why the workshop presenter chose to show it, I also found it rather judgemental and dismissive.

The video belittled the true power of these technologies. It made a blanket assumption that tech-mediated interactions are all illusions. I found this self-righteous dismissal of our ability to form meaningful connections through all types of channels grating and myopic. If only we could just step away from out phone, we will meet the love of our life! Riiight. Talk about a facetious example.

Unfortunately I see this easy blanket dismissal of modern communications frequently. (We probably decried the landline telephone just as vehemently when it was invented.)

Some of us seem unable to see beyond the physical manifestation of someone using their phone. We rush to judgement base on assumption and ignorance. We assume they must be always on their phone. We assume that what they are doing on their phone must be something inane and vapid. And we rush to shame.

But do you know what someone is actually doing on their phone? I have had disapproving looks from people on the train for reading on my phone, when they themselves have physical books on their laps. I have had people call out at me to put down my phone when I was text-chatting to a friend in severe distress.

Some people find it easier to be vulnerable and authentic on the phone or via text chats. Others may prefer text because they are concerned about the way they sound; or they may not be able to speak.

Face-to-face interaction is not a requisite for deep and meaningful connections. I have real connections with people I never have met in real life. I maintain strong friendships using text and chat messages. Who are you to tell me those relationships are lesser than yours?

We forget that the human need to connect is strong and innate to us as a social species. We are adaptable. We will use any means available to connect with others.

Social media and other tech-mediated technologies opens up whole new worlds of connection possibilities that had never existed before. Surely it is not the technology, but the type and quality of interactions with others that the technology enables us to enjoy.

Rather than get on the condemnation bandwagon, we should focus our energies on understanding, appropriately embracing, and maximising the benefits of these new channels.