The Importance of Human Contact
Last week during a meeting, Erica Farber, RAB president and CEO, asked me why I thought our virtual live training was doing so well. With the world as it is, I believe people are hungry for human connection, human interaction and information. Sure, live isn’t the same as face-to-face, but we try to make it close, and I think there is comfort in commiserating or comfort in the shared experience. Then, I happened upon this story making its way around the internet from an unknown author, but it could have very well been a conversation with my dad.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
I had spent an hour in the bank with my dad, as he had to transfer some money. I couldn't resist myself and asked...
"Dad, why don't we activate your internet banking?"
"Why would I do that?" He asked…
"Well, then you won't have to spend an hour here for things like a simple transfer.
You can even do your shopping online. Everything will be so easy!"
I was so excited about initiating him into the world of internet banking. He asked "If I do that, I won’t have to step out of the house?" "Yes! I said. I told him how even groceries can be delivered at the door now and how Amazon delivers everything!
His answer left me speechless.
He said, "Since I entered this bank today, I have met four of my friends. I have chatted a while with the staff who know me very well by now. You know I am alone… this is the company that I need. I like to get ready and come to the bank. I have enough time, and it is the physical touch that I crave. Two years ago, I got sick. The store owner from whom I buy fruits, came to see me, sat by my bedside and cried. When your mother fell a few days ago while on her morning walk, our local grocer saw her and immediately got in his car to rush her home since he knows where I live. Would I have that human touch if everything became online? Why would I want everything delivered to me and only interact with just my computer? I like to know the person that I'm dealing with and not just the 'seller'. It creates bonds of relationships. Does Amazon deliver all this as well?"
It's a great lesson as we head into another weekend: Technology isn't life. Spend time with people, not with devices.
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.