web secret about high touch in 2014. I am writing about it again in a different context.
In a recent blog post, I asked what does increased automation mean for those of us who are working in behavioral health care or employee assistance?
I pointed out that fortunately, what we do as mental health professionals is tech proof.
At least until right before The Singularity, when robot brains will be indistinguishable from human ones.
I feel confident that we will continue to thrive for at least a few decades, maybe even 50 years or more, because of a concept coined in 1982 by John Naisbitt, an expert in futures studies.
Naisbitt wrote Megatrends, the fruit of 10 years of research, in 1982. In it, he theorized that in a world of technology, people will long for personal, human contact. High tech, high touch.
He thought about this before Time Magazine's famous "The Computer, Machine of the Year" issue of 1983, for which the caption was "The computer moves in." I can still remember how shocked everyone was that a machine was on the cover instead of a person.
Naisbitt further elaborated on his concept in his 1999 update "High Tech, High Touch - technology and our search for meaning."
Based on exhaustive research, he described us as living in "a Technologically Intoxicated Zone," where we are bombarded with technological stimuli and live distanced and distracted.
At that time, Naisbitt noted that we struggled to bring high touch back into our lives, seeking meaning in religion and self-help books, popping Prozac and seeking connection to nature by driving SUVs and buying clothes from L.L. Bean.
The book suggested we pull the plug on the computer and TV, turn off the cell phone and beeper, and spend more time with family and friends.
He wrote this in 1999, before the smartphone and social media...
Back to the present, we may deliver services via portable technologies, but at least for a while, the therapist/client relationship will still be valued.
And employees will need the help of their EAPs to cope with the rapidly changing employment landscape.
And we will still need to pull the plug.