Touch or Tweet?

Before digital – before tools – was the digit. The original digit. The finger.

The fingers could touch, could point, could gesture, could fashion – the tip of one could even make love. Wonders of bone and fascia. These fingers, these first digits, made the first tools, the first paintings, the first languages, the first civilizations.

And now, the ultimate bringing-forth of our fingers, the binary grip of the digital age – the all-or-nothing fascism of zero and one – is poised to render its ancestors into feeble vestiges of natural selection.

The tweet is now metaphor for the rapidity of technological selection and point-to-point connection. The tweet seeks to replace the touch.

Healthcare is now poised to seek out new ways of patient care via digital technologies.

But as it does, what happens to touch – which is more than just skin-to-skin, but eye-to-eye, mouth-to-ear, heart-to-heart?

What happens when we decide to tweet more and more, and touch less and less?

To touch or to tweet? There’s a question.

For we are entering an undiscovered country: if we lose ourselves in tweets and lose touch of each other, how shall we grasp what matters most to us all, the other human digit: our dignity?

@PhilBaumann@HealthIsSocialNewsletter

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