The humanity of a hug

For a little extra motivation I subscribe to Seth Godin’s blog. They are mostly bits of wisdom that keep me focused on the task at hand rather than succumbing to discouragement by the difficulty of the entire project. Sometimes his observations are particularly profound or relevant to the work, and today’s held such a sentiment. Godin is speaking to the drama that our world has made of “reality,” turning life into a “sporting event [with the result of being] profitable.” When witnessed over any number of accessible devices, it begins to effect our own behavior. And, “This is dehumanizing, because it turns pathos into ratings and makes just about everyone into ‘the other’, not someone deserving more than clicks, linkbait and trolling.”

When nearly anything can be fodder for youtube or instagram or facebook, and our time consumed by, well, the consumption of that media, real life is no longer perceived as real, experienced. Indeed, we become less human. Because, to be human, is to be embodied, relational-in-body. To be sure, there are certainly benefits to using the technology available to maintain “contact” with others. At the same time, as Godin observes, “I’m not sure there’s any number of Facebook likes that can replace a hug.” Perhaps, today, before checking texts or post “likes,” before I get caught up in this work that seems so incredibly pressing, I will first find someone to hug. Now that is real!


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