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Socializing in the Digital Age
There are many, myself among them, who severely question whether the advent of the digital age, where smartphone seem to be even more ubiquitous that even cars and televisions, has played havoc with the socialization of the culture. There is even an ad now on TV which says something like "remember the way we used to socialize, complete with the entire 70s look and a corded landline telephone.

I get a free magazine that comes out once a month and it lists thoughts for each day, and today's happened to read that you find connection by socializing with different groups and organizations. And went on to say that sharing ideas, possibly even teaching what you know to others will feel very satisfying. I know that I have complained many times that it is no longer easy to, for example, strike up a conversation with someone at, say, a restaurant or coffee shop because most seem to be very glued to their phones. I imagine that someday one of these institutions will come up with a "check your phone at the door" policy to encourage conversation, kinda like the way you now check your coats at the door. Or at least a placard encouraging folks to use their phones only in an emergency.

One of the best ways to socialize in this age is through the groups, and I have over time been to a few of them myself. But I haven't been on their lists for several years because I was getting bombarded by emails for every group under the sun, many of which I was in no way qualified for.

So, what do you all think? Do you feel that we might one day see a time when a considerable portion of the population develops a case of "smartphone burnout", along with a desire to return to more face-to-face communication?

While we're at it, I am enclosing an article on this very subject I found during a random search, focusing primarily on the Meetup groups but I'm sure could be useful in other situations as well.
I find that it's tough to strike up a conversation with a stranger in public because it usually just makes them anxious. They reply once or twice to you and then just try to get away. There's even a thing people do where they use their phone as a defense mechanism to avoid interaction. They get in the elevator and pull it out of their pocket to look at as a signal to others that they do not want conversation. Every once in a while though, you can engage someone who is open to conversation. It's either a person who is gregarious (which is not the norm) or someone with whom you have something in common and they are actually interested in conversation.

But maybe it's just me. Smile
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

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