The Lost Encounter

Is our technology filling in for what we might have encountered in the city?

I feel like my computer has become a part of me and my day to day experience. The computer is like a magnet. If I am too far from it in the apartment, it’s like I have lost my connection to the “outside”. As if I have lost my connection with you all – who are somewhere out there – and also “in” your computers.


Before as a graduate student, I hadn’t thought much about my relationship to technology. I was sitting in classes, participating in seminars, having coffee chats and reading books. My experience in the world was more about an interaction with physical space – touching, smelling, sensing moments – whereas now in this virtual space we can only see and hear. We have lost our ability to use of some of our senses in our technological interactions.

I miss hugging people, looking into people’s eyes, and sensing how people feel from their body language. I miss exploring the range of our human emotion.

I miss the encounter. I miss the conversations that would take place with my classmates in the breaks, before class, after class, passing in the hallways. I miss the buzz of the cafeteria. I miss sitting outside of classrooms by the windows to “work” because I thought maybe a friend would pass.


The city was about the people who we would encounter. The moments out of our control. The happenstance of passing paths with someone else. Those beautiful, spontaneous moments. The smiles, hugs and happiness of running into a friend by chance.

Yet, we are lucky to have technology to continue to create moments. To still connect with each other. To talk, to laugh, to smile.

We don’t need to feel alone.

We will be ok.

and when we leave our homes, we will cherish the encounter.

We will hug each other again.

and we will thank each other, as we look eye to eye, for being a part of each other’s lives.

2 thoughts on “The Lost Encounter

  1. I always treasure your reflections. I have never been grateful enough for telephone and computer. My phone tells me weekly how much I have increased my screen time. I even enjoy the posts of my Facebook friends that I used to look at once every 3 weeks. Today I saw that Flowers Hospital in Dothan had its first corona virus patient. Nick had down played that possibility longer than his brothers. I make at least two intentional long phone calls a day, Allie, Katie, and Andrew were on the other end on the line. Of course, I am also getting in touch with my German family. I am more aware of my countless blessings.


  2. Allie, I think you’ve put down in writing so beautifully, but many of us are thinking. These are indeed strange and unusual times. On one hand I do have to say hooray for technology because at least I can see my loved ones when I talk to them if I use FaceTime or zoom. I am grateful for small favors. Hope to be able to give you a hug soon.

    Sent from my iPhone



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