What do these have in common: Dating, the Sears Catalog, playing a board game, background checks, and recipes?

Answer: Technology

The process of human communication is changing. I know, this is not a new thought and I may quite possibly be the last person in the free world to notice it. But what is seen cannot be unseen and so I must opine.

We used to joke about how people in adjoining offices send each other e-mail instead of stepping out and talking. That is so yesterday.

Now I can search for a date or a mate, sorting for desirability in all key areas – geography, pets, children, looks, ability to spell, astrological sign, likes and dislikes, etc. In fact, one can easily disqualify potential mates in a matter of seconds and never even have to talk to them! I can buy an IPod without having to interact with another human being. I can play a game with people all over the world whom I have never met and probably never will. I can look at a person’s MySpace page and decide instantly if I wish to hire them. I can even get a shopping list for an entire meal without having to think or plan.

I can sit behind my computer (or my blackberry, choose your poison) and be whomever I choose. I can avoid moments of discomfort, I don’t have to worry about body language, I can choose not to respond and never have to look the person in the eye. Or I can be a real jerk and never have to look the person in the eye.

OK, I admit I sent a text message to my daughter who was upstairs at the time. So I’m not squeaky clean over here. But here’s the thing – humans are wired (no pun intended) to bond and communicate. I’m worried about a world where we vet each others’ social networking profiles, exchange a few cryptic e-mails, maybe text a few times, make a lot of assumptions about each other based on a narrow data set, and then drop out because it’s all too real.

Walk a different road. Go face to face.