The Lost Art of Being Human

The Lost Art of Being Human


We are experiencing a dire shortage these days. Not just of oil. Or water. Or food.

We have a shortage of humans.

You wouldn’t think in a world of over seven billion people we’d have such a problem. But call this Terminator Five. The machines are taking over.

And I’m not talking about the machines putting together our cars, driving our cars, our planes, our computers — no I’m talking about us.

We’ve lost the art of being human. (click to tweet)

And in this highly digitized world, it’s those who excel the best at being who will experience the most success.

The Lost Art of Being Human

Lack of Real.Live.Humans

What do I mean?

Many of us have forgotten, well, how to be us.

We’ve lost how to actually be a face behind the name. To be more than a piece of paper. A status update. A picture. A Tweet. A LOL.

We hide behind screens and phones, interacting with each other in ways that require less need for us to really be us.

We apply for jobs as a list of bullet points.

We appeal for support with a mass email. Proud that we addressed it Dear ____.

We say happy birthday with a click of a button.

We buy our groceries without ever making eye contact with the person scanning our Frosted Mini-Wheats. The cashier just an extension of the checkout aisle.

We drape ourselves in routine, forgetting that feeling of new-ness.

We say things that we think should be said instead of saying what we know is right.

Authenticity has become the new buzz word.

But with our auto-drive, auto-text, auto-tweet, auto-think, auto-write: Authenticity has been replaced with Auto-thencity — an automated version of us that’s not really us. 

Your success hinges on your ability or inability to be a (click to tweet)

Three Key Places to be Human

1. Job Search

It is those who shake a hand and look into eyes, who will win the job. A resume has no face. A piece of paper is too easy to say no to. A person with a smile, laugh and a story is much harder. Humans want to help humans. Humans love reaching out a hand to pick up another. When looking for a job, somehow, someway you must become a human to the human on the other side. No matter how “green” we get, humans will always crumble up paper before a person.

2. Marriage

Marriage can’t just be a oiled machine of routine. It can’t be placed on auto-pilot. You’ll crash. I say this more to myself than anyone else.

I forget far too easily that my wife trumps other deadlines, dreams, and desires. Every night that my computer takes precedent over her thoughts and touch is a night that I have screwed up.

Having an affair with my computer is not how I want my wife and kids to remember me.

Turn off auto-pilot Paul. Put your hands back on the wheel. Fly the plane you swore you would fly.

3. Friendship

If I call a friend back within a weeks time, I consider that doing a pretty good job. Two weeks – two months is most likely the norm.

Sure life is busy. Too freaking busy. But too busy for friends?

Too busy to make a phone call? What five minutes? Five minutes to connect with a person I swore I would never lose contact with?

Sounds easy. So why have I resorted to texts and Facebook? A wall is no place to make friends.

The Impact of Humanity

It is the who will inherit the earth.

We need to rise above the drab of the impersonal.

We need those who will call out to others in a real voice by their real name.

Even within technological forms which are not going away, how can we promote personality and purpose through a medium that can possibly diminish both.

Because humans desire interaction with real humans. Humans desire for the taste of real relationships not contrived on cliches.

We yearn for those special people who can call out the person inside of us. (click to tweet)

We ache for the feeling of shared aliveness.

This is a cry for us to come alive. By God, I hope I answer the call…

What do you think?


  1. Jay

    True DAT!!

  2. Jacqui

    Couldn’t have been said any better!

    • Paul

      Thanks Jacqui!

  3. Josh Hart

    Paul, I totally agree with your post. Technology seems to take the human connection out of connecting. I was at Applebees recently and looked at a table by me and I saw two people across from each other both with their cell phones out, and it looked like both of them were texting. This seems to be the norm today. Facebook as great as it is, has taken over our social lifes. Even to the point now, that some colleges our teaching teachers to incorporate facebook into the daily classroom. I’m not saying this is a terrible idea, but what happened to face to face communication. Sometimes I fear that our grandchildren will be shocked that we use to play with our friends face to face.

    • Paul

      “Technology seems to take the human connection out of connecting” Great line! It’s a paradox of sorts isn’t it?? We are able to connect with people all over the world in an instant, yet I haven’t said more than five words to my neighbor in a year.

      I write about the need to connect. Through a website. Which I then tweet. And converse about like so.

      The irony is not lost…

  4. Morgan

    What are these ‘humans’ you speak of…?

    • admin

      I think I saw one of these “humans” once. On a Tweetpic. On my iPhone. It was a sight

  5. @kylerwoodworth

    This philosophical value may even help with learning and accessing long term memory. I don’t think anyone would argue we remember emotions and feeling from weeks, months, especially years ago over hard data and facts.

    Emotion which is only multiplied through human interaction, may actually help us remember for the long haul with interactive learning.

  6. MJ

    “Authenticity has been replaced with Auto-thencity — an automated version of us that’s not really us.”

    Amen and amen. Will be sharing this post with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at

  7. Lucas

    Everybody go out the door and live today.

  8. Alexis

    The physical presence of another has become this hot commodity as if the norm is to text, the prize is to call, and the diamond is to spend time face to face.

  9. JonnySocket

    Or maybe the definition of humanity is changing. If we become something else, that something else becomes human. The nature of a complex system is to preserve itself and increase complexity. You exist to create entropy and prolong the heat death of the universe, that’s it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You’ve got questions.

We’ve got your-


SurVival PAckAge

A free, super-stuffed care package of resources to help you get through your twenties (and thirties too).

Order my new book "25 Lies Twentysomethings Need to Stop Believing"!

25 signs its a quarter life crisis

Instantly access: 

- "3 Ways to Pay Better Attention to the Answers Right in Front of You" - a quick, three step action guide to paying better attention that you can implement today.

- The first two chapters from best-selling author Paul Angone's new book Listen to Your Day: The Life-Changing Practice of Paying Attention.