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What is Valentine’s Day if not a day of love?

It was likely first celebrated in the eighth century on February 14. How have our relationships as well as love changed since the eighth century? We no longer have the support of a familial culture. It is now more secular.

In the 1980s we began communicating on the Internet instead of with our bodies and voices present. Currently, many use texting or emailing constantly. What has love become in this Internet age? What has love become in this age of artificial communication? Why not return to love while communicating authentically in person?

Just like communication, hugs are only effective in person, aren’t they? We mostly don’t have body language and tone of voice delivered with words when we communicate on the Internet. Those elements comprise over 90% of the meaning in a message. Touch is absent when we send a hug instead of delivering it in person. Touch can only be delivered in person. It is the reason we don’t experience the love we once did hugging and talking in person.

We expect that our artificial communication devices like cell phones and computers are the same as being in person. They are not, are they? Love can only be fully communicated in person.

Communication can demonstrate love, can’t it? How can we possibly communicate on cell phones or computers that transmit only words? Human beings are designed to communicate in person, aren’t they? Human beings can only demonstrate love with authentic communication in person. Why is it that we don’t care enough to spend time talking to each other in person?

When I first arrived in Boulder City in 1981, there were many people who wanted to speak to me in person. I became involved in the community because Boulder City was a community that was demonstrating love. My love for our city became serving on the Parks and Recreation Commission followed by the city council as a council member and mayor.

Our cell phones and computers tell us what we have to do in order to keep them working. We respond without question. Unfortunately, we are not as likely to facilitate our relationships with updates to keep them functional. Relationships only work in person, don’t they? Love as well as communication is best expressed in person, isn’t it?

What happens when we speak to a child or infant? Instantaneously, we want to interact with that child, don’t we? We see it best in our children when our hearts tell us what to do. We want to play with them, don’t we? They are precious to us, aren’t they? As adults, we don’t desire to interact as much with other adults in person. What is it that a child receives from an adult in the interactions attendant to the love we feel for children? It is mostly tone of voice and body language in our play, isn’t it? In fact, most of communication isn’t about words. Most of communication with adults continues to be about tone of voice and body language.

When we remember how we interact with our children using our tone of voice as well as body language in person, we will begin to see what is missing in most relationships supported by the Internet. We are talking to a metal box expecting to share the love we enjoy in person. What is it that your phone expects from you? When our phones and our artificial intelligence devices demand attention, we respond. We are addicted to our machines, aren’t we? In fact, programs written for us are written to addict us to spend as much time as possible on our phones and computers. That’s how corporate America makes money on the Internet, selling advertisements. Authentic communication as well as genuine love can only be enjoyed in person. Make Valentine’s Day as well as February your month of love by enjoying your loved ones in person.

Eric L Lundgaard is President is Aquarian Theosophy Foundation and former councilmember and mayor (1985-1997)

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