Technology and Human Connection

Sometimes we look at how the internet and technology has paved the way for us to disconnect from one another: texting, online dating, spending hours online instead of doing other things (guilty)…  but this great technology is also what allows humans to connect in ways we never had before. This past week I really felt the strength of this with my job and in assisting a customer.

In a nutshell, my 9-5 job is customer service, but not over the phone. I’ve done call center work before, and although I did it well, I would love to not have to do it again. Thankfully, my job allows me the challenge of problem-solving plus the connection to people via email, letter and instant messaging.

I admit, I wasn’t too fond of the instant messaging when we first started doing it, because this is an immediate form of work. For the most part, I pretty much have the ability to manage my workload, and I love this aspect of my job. If something seems too complicated, I prefer to hold it until the end of the day. I’m also not a big fan of being interrupted from my work. Luckily, we don’t get too many of these chats every day and I’ve pretty much adapted to it.

To everything, I believe there is a yin and a yang. I found that after we started providing this chat service to our customers, I felt a greater connection to these people. The sense of helping someone felt more direct, since we are corresponding with someone in a live manner. Our company provides great customer service, but occasionally there are some issues that arise in which we need to better address our procedures.

This happened a little while ago with a customer who had contacted us several times and things weren’t getting processed in a timely manner. She’d contacted us via phone, email, and now, the instant messaging, which is how she reached me. She was understandably upset and the conversation was a long one. I assured her I would follow up to make sure everything got handled as it should, and continued corresponding with her via email during the process.

She went from being upset to expressing her gratitude multiple times in the course of our emails. It wasn’t until Friday, that one of her emails really affected me. She expressed how lucky she was to have gotten me when she contacted us and how I was a blessing to her. It was that last part that started the waterworks.

I’m a sensitive person, some days more than others (hello, estrogen!) and I am known to cry even when happy. It’s usually during those moments of life that I feel very connected with a higher energy/God/spirit/soul. To hear her say I was a blessing made me feel great that I was able to help her out as I had. It made me thankful to have been “chosen” as that person to make her life simpler and smoother. I was also touched by the feeling of connection to another being. We may never meet one another, but to have had this connection is pretty awesome.

I’ve “met” several people online that have become friends, some in real life and some just in cyberland, and I’m grateful for those connections. I’ve found online communities with people in the same boat as I, concerning health & relationships. I’ve sold more art online than not. We are quick to blame technology for problems in society, but it can equally be used for positive experiences. How has the internet and technology helped you interact with people?

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