Kevin Hillier says technology is distorting our basic values

As they used to say in old movies: ‘‘If only he used his powers for good rather than evil.’’ If only we used today’s communications technology as an accessory to face-to-face skills, what a wonderful world it could be.

Lately I have seen the bad side of modern communication. I advertised recently for a football caller for the WRFL radio coverage and was surprised by the number of interested people. So after whittling it down to a handful, I conducted face-to-face interviews. These were done in a bar rather than the austere surroundings of an office.

They went well and last Saturday four callers were going to audition by calling a quarter of a game each as if it were live to air (which it wasn’t). Emails were exchanged regarding details, times, etc, and I was really looking forward to what might happen and seeing what these four had to offer.

At 10.50 on Saturday morning, an email arrived from one of the aspiring callers (keep in mind the game was starting at 2pm) telling me he’d changed his mind and had decided to dedicate himself to acting. A little later I received a text message from another applicant saying his heart wasn’t in it so he wasn’t turning up, either. A check of his Facebook page showed he’d celebrated well into the night after his AFL team won.

Neither had the decency to pick up the phone and use it for what it was originally invented for, talking to people. Both took the cowardly way out. I was disappointed but also glad that my time was not wasted on these two aspiring broadcasters.

People sit three metres apart in offices and rather than get up and tell someone something, they send an email. And if we all had a dollar for every time we see restaurant tables where everyone is on the phone we could stop buying Tatts tickets.

I’m sure readers of this column will have many similar examples of their own and I’d love you to email them to me. ■

If you have any news or events, let me know at kevin@howdypartnersmedia.