I recently had an appointment with a Senior Relationship Manager at one of the top 3 banks in Australia and was shocked at the way it was handled.

I am not one to reach for the smartphone first thing in the morning – I only use it for my alarm and then don’t look at it until I am ready to leave for the office.  I still don’t like getting text messages instead of a phone call when you have a message to deliver and my emails are not the most important thing in my life.  I have used computers since I was 18 but technology is still not the most important thing in my life.

So recently I had, by email and phone, made and confirmed an appointment to meet this gentleman at 10.30 at a certain café, one floor below where he worked Not a difficult challenge and I got there on time and waited.  His email to me was “Great, see you at 10.30am”.

After 10 minutes I got my coffee thinking he may
be late due to being on the phone.  After 20 minutes of sitting there, I decided to head back to my office and call him to ask what happened.  I was stunned to hear “I thought you would text me when you got to the café”.  I then reminded him that he confirmed the time with me by email, so why would I need to text him.  With that he had no excuse.  I am now looking for a new banking relationship.

It’s great that we have the technology to connect with people across the globe instantly, but there’s also a sense of disconnection.  If there’s an internet-capable device with a screen anywhere nearby, the immediate world doesn’t get our full attention. It got me thinking about the long term impact of technology on personal interactions.  How is technology affecting human relationships?

Conversations that lack context and sincerity? There is a
n issue with technology and the inability to detect tone. You can never really know when someone is being sarcastic, serious, funny, not funny or just joking. Misunderstandings, miscommunications and assumptions result, which have an impact on how we view and treat others. If you don’t see a person’s face, hear their voice and understand the environment, you have no idea the context surrounding the written words.  I would rather use Skype that text any day.

In the advancement of technology are we losing our etiquette in business, life and the basic skills of social intelligence? Do we not have enough challenges in life without putting a device before devotion, a hand before humanity?

Now days it’s not talk to me but more talk to
the hand – because that’s where I have my hand held device, my smartphone or my tablet.  I don’t want to be that person.  If you want to talk to me, I am always available for a one on one face to face experience.