Denis: Keeping in touch with reality in a ‘contactless’ society

I WROTE about contactless living. It's the idea of a credit card company – you can use a card instead of actually talking to people to buy things.

I WROTE about contactless living. It's the idea of a credit card company – you can use a card instead of actually talking to people to buy things.

You just wave the card at a machine and waltz out of a shop with a sandwich without a by your leave to anyone.

This, I suggested, was the removal of another layer of social interaction.

People already stand round in bars showing each other the latest joke they have received by text or playing an online game.

Before long, we won't need to speak to anyone for any reason at all.

We can order takeaways and goods on online, have them delivered, and remain in contactless living with only a TV for company.

We may lose even the basic ability to reach out, in some form, and give a friend a nudge and say: “Oi, why don't we make contact?”

I despair.

And then, from France, I got a nudge from Pauline Bardon, formerly of this parish but who has lived in Ploermel for some years, and is an occasional correspondent.

“Here is some human contact from one human being to another,” she said.

“After reading that article, I just had to open my bottle of Quink, fill my Waterman fountain pen and write to you. Sad, serious, sometimes amusing, you hit the nail on the head with your viewpoint and comments.

“It will probably take power cuts and an oil crisis for the extent of mass dependency on machines and technology to show our loss of human interaction. Keep talking, keep writing, keep smiling.

“From my table top in France. By hand.”

Brilliant. Thanks, Pauline. Real contact.

 

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