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DIGITAL LONLINESS

When I went to bed last night, I asked Amazon's Alexa to set my alarm clock for 6 am. Somewhat to my surprise, "she" asked me if I had a good day. When I told "her" that I had a sad day, she suggested that I call some friends. Within seconds, I found myself having a short "therapy" session with Alexa. I was experiencing high octane digital contact. I was joining many others who talk to robots and designate them as "friends." This happens on things like Facebook all of the time where the pandemic of substituting digital contacts exacerbates the loneliness that so many of us felt before, during and will most likely feel after this pandemic.
We are kidding ourselves into thinking that emails can capture the warmth of a human voice. Email, voicemail, answering services, instapaper and even this blog itself are taking social distancing to a whole new level. I am more than tired of hearing things like, "We are not available at this time. Please visit our web site so that one of our experts can contact you during the next business day."
I don't mind ordering a pizza on line, but, when it comes to sharing feelings, preferences should change. Even Google has recognized that 61% of mobile users call back to make a purchase after talking to a real person. Research has indicated that after real person calls to live people, businesses are expected to exceed 169 billion dollars. (BIA/Kelsey)
I will share a meal of a meeting with someone who wants to get to know me and I will be more likely to make a purchase from someone who acts like he wants to know how I am doing. Even automated businesses are beginning to train responders to sound interested. The next time you have a cell phone problem, you will hear the "expert responder" ask how you are doing today.
When I reach out to any person for any reason, I don't want to hear that my call is being recorded for quality purposes while I wait to leave a message for a "solutions expert."
Voice is dominant. Digital initiatives simply leave feelings and emotions ignored on a dusty keyboard while I suffer help fatigue. One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what someone has to say.

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