We all know that person who won't stop the cellphone conversation while in the drive through or checkout counter. But what about the other extreme -- the one who will do anything to avoid conversation? We're examining the dangers of living that way.
If we choose to, we can avoid most human contact.
DVD rentals need a credit card but there are no 'Hello's.'
ATM's have covered for bank tellers for years.
From car washes to gas pumps, swipe a card and the salutations stay away.
Self check-outs -- even buying stuff at the Apple store -- it can be done in isolation.
"You don't have to worry about talking to people. You can stay in your own world," said Creighton University student Kelsea Worcester who knows some people who will take technology over people every single time. "I'm not one of those people. I love meeting new people. Cashiers are my new best friends."
But those who are purposefully disconnected, is there a harm?
Even before smartphones, hasn't there always been people who avoid others?
"It's good to unplug every once in awhile but we kind of unplug knowing that someone else is still there if we wanted to talk," said Chad McBride who studies behavior as a communications professor at Creighton University. "Long-term, I think [being purposefully disconnected] could be problematic. Part of what makes us human and different from animals is having that interaction."
"As much as I'd like to turn things off sometimes," said student Eric Juszyk, "I know a lot of times -- it's not reality."
Matthew Gillespie disconnected in the mountains of North Carolina. "To this day, it's still my favorite vacation I've ever taken."
Tommy Backe went in a different direction -- recently exchanging handwritten letters with classmates. "Letters are something you can hold on to and texts are casual conversation in passing."
Backe uses an app called SelfControl to block distracting websites as a way to purposefully disconnect sometimes.
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