Staying human in a digital era

This is not a technical post. But in light of the recent tragedies I decided to take a moment and reflect about us. Humans.

Without a doubt, the last few decades had given us many technological wonders. Personal computing gave us the ability to create incredible things. The Internet took down our artificial barriers and made it possible for us to freely exchange ideas regardless of our physical location. The web gave us access to the world’s information and open source leveled the software playing field.

Computers are also giving us self-driving cars, delivery drones, chess mates, better science and a million other great things.

But no matter how much faster, better and smarter our computers get, there’s one thing that computers will never be able to give us. A simple human touch.

As programmers we tend to get lost in the cyber world. We work there, we play there, we communicate there, we buy our groceries there and we have less and less opportunity to step out and take a break.

But we are still human. And we sometimes forget that the world is full of other humans. And most of these other humans are actually pretty awesome. Some of them are working hard to keep us healthy, others are keeping us safe from harm, still others are growing the food we eat and every one of them no matter who they are, or what they do, is waking up in the morning to make the world a little bit better than yesterday in their own unique way.

Maybe we need a Human Day. Something to remind us once a year that we’re all human.

So say hi to someone you don’t know today. Smile to another human being. Say hi to that pretty girl or handsome guy you like. Take a break from that computer. Turn off your phone. Go for a run. Meet a friend for coffee.

It’s okay to be human.

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