People. People who need people. Are they the luckiest people in the world? Yes, they are! However, a new survey out reveals some very disturbing trends when it comes to face-to-face human interaction. Trends in fact, that are scarier than you may know.
A new survey from LivePerson finds that 7-in-10 millennials and the younger ‘Gen Z,’ prefer communicating with their fellow man digitally, rather than in person. Polling more than 4,000 young adults between the age of 18 and 34 to discover the priorities and preferences of today’s millennials and Gen Z, the results are quite alarming.
Globally, 65% of those surveyed indicated they increasingly “talk” to peers via texting or by cell phone. In English speaking countries, the numbers are even higher — for example, in the U.S. and UK, roughly 74% of the millenials and ‘Gen Z’ surveyed, used digital technology over face-to-face communications. Text messaging was the overwhelming favorite form of ‘communications.’
Oddly, and actually disturbingly, 62% of young people today, would prefer to forget their wallet at home, rather than their phone.
But wait, it gets worse
70% of those surveyed willingly admitted that they sleep with their phones right near them, with more than half saying they checked their phones if they happened to wake-up during the night. Around 66% said they also take their phones to the bathroom with them and, feel there is nothing wrong with checking their phones during dinner…or in the middle of a conversation with another person. Close to 70% polled also saw a future in which all purchases are made online and not in person and, prefer to deal with any customer service or technical issues online as well.
Who needs people?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), is gaining a lot of attention globally as corporations openly share their vision of getting rid of most, if not all of their employees, by replacing them with robots and other forms of artificial intelligence. This begs the question: if corporations greatly reduce their workforce in favor of artificial intelligence, who do they think will be able to buy the products they make? After all, if humans are kicked to the curb, how will they have an income that enables them to buy the things being produced by robots? Millennials and Gen Z’ers would do well to remember that, don’t you think?
Human interaction is absolutely vital to our health. A text or an email can never replace the spoken word — so much is lost and mis-interpreted in electronic communications. But more than that, human compassion will most surely suffer. How can you care about people, if you never connect and communicate with them as we’re meant to?
It’s not a brave new world…it’s a scary new world.
Check out the press release for the LivePerson study.
*Top image courtesy of flickr.