Kiss & Tell: The Future Of Intimacy

Let us be reminded of the value of the human touch. This may be literal, as in touching another human being, or metaphorical, as in an expression of empathy. Some believe its presence is the difference between surviving and thriving.

I am lucky that I have lived a good portion of my life without the filter of technology. Somehow, life still went on with a rotary phone and Rolodex, and my index finger was only used to point to the neighbor’s new Chevy Camaro with a squeal of delight. Forget the opposable thumb; future humans will have an enormous finger designed to swipe right or left all day long.

I can appreciate the advancement and efficiency of our digital world, but its dependence is moving us farther apart from each other and our humanity. Our online lives eclipse our real lives, luring us away from one another. While I can appreciate a great Google binge on “What does a dream about a talking lasagna mean?” there is a time to get dressed and leave the house. 

Social media can carry the illusion of connection while making us feel even more isolated. I cringe at the irony when TikTok issues a challenge with #letstalkloneliness which is a bit like the fox in the hen house talking #chicksafety.

And in terms of human intimacy, there is not much good news on the sexual evolution front. Research is showing that teenage boys are watching hardcore pornography online, a far cry from their counterparts sneaking a peak at their father’s Playboy magazine. And teenage girls are losing self-esteem and confidence comparing themselves to impossible (and highly filtered) images of women online. “Selfie dysmorphia,” is a thing. And these are women in the throes of youth. Try being a woman in menopause who eats cheese and see how your self-image survives. 

What all this does is make us feel more unlovable than we already believe we are.

Our digital life, while at moments may provide validation, can be filled with miscommunication, judgment, and f***wittery. Our worldview narrows to our algorithm, and although I am concerned about belly fat, baby otters, chinoiserie wallpaper, and what to do when you don’t have your glasses on in the shower and you have just scrubbed your entire body with lavender furniture polish, I am much more than that.

The problem is that originally technology was supposed to free up more time to spend with each other. But instead, technology begat more technology, and now we are facing an existential threat of AI, a greedy beast which people seem to be blindly giving all of their personal or business information only to have it replace them in the real world. 

Is there a way to turn off the screen and walk back into the imperfect, vulnerable world to embrace the mystery of life and love and each other? To take that finger off the screen and to literally hold another hand or at least hold another’s humanity. To grab that beautiful piece of French cheese and say belly fat be damned. To hold yourself with compassion and simply remind yourself, “I am here. And that is enough.”

Heather Buchanan

Heather Buchanan is an award-winning writer with the accolades of "Best Column" and "Best Humor Column" from both the National Association of Newspaper Columnists and the Press Club of Long Island. Having first dipped her toes in the beaches of Sagaponack at three weeks old she has a long lens on Hamptons real estate both as a journalist, marketer, and buyer and seller before joining Sotheby’s International Realty. With her in-depth knowledge and personal dedication, she has been helping clients realize their dreams of a home in the Hamptons. When she is not working, she is perfecting her secret pie crust recipe, mastering the nine iron or making peace with pigeon pose.

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