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Computers don't hug!

Posted Oct 30 2008 3:23pm

I'm sure that I'm not alone in having a love-hate relationship with the Internet.  Love it, because it makes so much possible and is the ultimate connection tool - hate it because it involves spending long hours in front of a computer and is also the ultimate disconnection tool.

From a massage/ bodywork viewpoint we were not designed to be in front of computers.  There is a cartoon showing the evolution of man from hunched over ape to upright human.  Then  - boom!  A computer arrives and upright man's posture starts to revert and become ape-like again as he spends more and more time hunched over his keyboard.  As a species, we were not designed to be surgically attached to our desks, making micro-movements with our shoulders and wrists.  A total recipe here for RSI and neck/ shoulder/ upper back tension.  Add bad seating to the equation and OUCH!! 

I once met an osteopath who said he wanted to do for schoolchildren's posture what Jamie Oliver has done for schoolkids' lunches.  A snippet in the paper yesterday showed that a serious amount of high school students have back problems.  Probably a mix of attrocious seating, heavy bags, too much stress, long hours of studying and more and more time spent at the computer. 

My other contention with the internet (might as well get it all out!) is that it stops us from being in touch in a face to face and real way.  As The Touch Ambassador, I'm a big fan of meaningful human connection.  I was having dinner with a bunch of friends last night, who I've known since pre-Internet days.  Friends I used to see lots of (or worst case scenario phone or write long letters to).  But these days, I connect with them mainly by scrolling down my address book list and clicking on their name, with a forward or a quickly dashed out message and vice-versa. The quality of sitting around and sharing and laughing is a zillion times richer than staring into the electric glow of my computer screen.  As Aretha Franklin sings, "there ain't nothing like the real thing."

And this leads nicely onto the results of our poll.  

100 : Percentage of respondents who'd like to live in a touchier society.  

80: Percentage of you who would welcome a touchier environment at work and need 5-10 hugs a day to keep you humming.

60: Percentage of respondents who would like a touchier family life.

20: Percentage of you who are satisfied with the amount of touch you are receiving from your partner and friends.

4.8: The average on a 1-10 scale that you're satisfied with the amount of touch you're getting in your lives.  (0=v. disatisfied, 10=ecstatically over the moon)

Thanks to all who participated!

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