Beyond Being There Response
In 1992, inventions that replicate face-to-face interaction might only be used to bring comfort to humans.
In the article, they brought the metaphor about crutches and shoes to raise the issue about the focus of building a telecommunication tools to correct some problems instead of making best out of the bad situation. The telecommunication tools should be a common tool that people use in their daily life not just in the bad situation. In the present, lot of technologies such as telephone, email or social media are developed to imitate the physical interaction and shrink physical world into a digital world on screen. These long-distance communication became a main-stream tools to connect with people.
However, during the padamic when isolation become a new normal, people are craving for a realistic in-person interaction. The innovations we had in the past are not enough to fulfill the need of being in the physical space with others. Even there are a lot of online event and workshop or a million group calls happened everyday, it still took a lot of efforts form people to participate and use the unfamiliar new tools like Zoom or Webinar. To imitateing the face-to-face communication, we might need to reconsider "what's right with the new media ?" in our era. Are there any other possibilities beyond asynchronicity, anonimity, and recordability. Is it possible to create any virtual reality to bring people together.
The aspects of the face-to-face interaction that I missed the most during the quarantine are the small unintentional conversations we had in the physical space such as a small talk in the hall way, overheard story from the other side of the room or even the casual greeting or smiling to strangers. It might be good if we can utilize the tools we had to recreate these unintentional interaction more in the era of non-physical meeting.