Technology and the Quality of Connection?

Day Eight

Halfway through a fantastic evening with friends, I realized a phenomenon had occurred. Without discussing it, everyone had left their phones inside. All of our attention was focused on each other. 

I have remained in contact with a large number of people I met while traveling through Facebook. Now I have a worldwide network that I can access at any moment. When my mom traveled at nineteen, she called home twice in over a year. I wonder, did my “over-connection” actually disconnect me from the experience I was having? Would I have learned more about myself and changed in a more drastic way if I hadn’t been able to fall back into the person I am while home? In a sense, does technology dull the experience ever so slightly?

I could be on a train, talking to my mother, boyfriend, co-worker, and old friend from Nepal, having four virtual “connections” simultaneously. But is a phone or texting conversation truly the same as one in person? So much of conversation is not exchanged through words but body language, expression, and physical touch. Now say the conversation is in person, how is my phone/other technology pulling my attention out of the present moment and conversation? 

What it boils down to is the difference between quantity and quality. I can have more communication but is that really the essence of connection?