Connecting

Every tech pundit with half a brain “knows”.

Technology was supposed to bring us closer together, but it’s actually driving us further apart. Phones used to be tools for connecting, but they’ve become crutches that distract and separate us instead. AI was supposed to automate and streamline our lives, relieving us of mundane chores and freeing us to spend more time on things that matter. Instead, it’s removed and trivialized the little personal interactions that make us human.

They “know” it. You “know” it.

But few pundits have suggested any realistic solutions. Fewer still have bothered to to reflect on the ways technology brings us together.

So as 2019 starts, here are a few ways tech has helped me actually connect:

Group chat – An ongoing group chat with some of my best friends has kept me sane through work stress, personal challenges, and every day gripes. Never underestimate the power of a timely gif to cheer somebody up.

Work – I knew when I made the decision to stop freelancing full time and join GetHuman that the company was special. Little did I know that this group of technologists would become my second family. This year we became profitable, streamlined our product process, and united around a shared vision we’re all passionate about. My colleague Jeff Whelpley has chronicled many of these successes in detail, and his blog is well worth reading. But many of his posts boil down to this: creating technology and working with technology brought us closer together, and we can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Instagram – In 2018, it seemed like Instagram succeeded in all the ways that Facebook failed. My Facebook feed is full of so much bullshit I don’t even bother to open Facebook anymore. But photos of my closest friends living their best lives? Instagram is getting it right. Here’s hoping Facebook doesn’t run it into the ground in 2019.