In dot #3011, I wrote about Cameo, a service where celebrities record custom messages for people — congratulations, birthday wishes, etc. It seems that now people have co-opted this service into something more devious — using Cameo to record messages they don’t want to deliver in person such as quitting a job, ending a relationship, or even seeking a divorce!
It’s part of a larger trend where people are less comfortable doing things face-to-face. We use self-service checkouts instead of having a few moments of chit-chat with the cashier. We use the ATM instead of going into the bank. We mail a sympathy card or text a message instead of hand delivering it with a casserole. We use Slack or Teams to communicate with co-workers instead of popping over to their desks. We burrow ourselves away behind privacy fences instead of having contiguous yards where kids and neighbors intermix. And, of course, the motherlode of all anonymity, social media, where trolls and venom can abound without consequence or identity. All this has combined to make delivering tough messages even tougher because we’re out of practice with the small stuff.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can intentionally choose to interact in person at least once a day with someone outside of your home. Say hello to people as you pass them. Conduct your transaction with a human. Call a friend instead of texting. Wave to your neighbor instead of immediately pulling into your garage. Meet over coffee for those tough conversations.
While technology has certainly made some things easier, don’t let it remove you from all face-to-face interactions. Humanity is delivered in person.