Speaker | Entrepreneur | Author

Sam Davidson's blog

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Arguing Against the Automatic

As it turns out, the better auto-pilot gets, the worse real pilots get. While technology can supplement a lot of rote tasks, saving us humans for high-functioning, cognitive skills, automating too much isn't the way to go. 

In our seemingly endless quest for ever more technology, here are eight things you should never automate:

  • A tough conversation, full of feeling and emotion, that is only resolved when you sit with someone, express your emotions and desires, and see how it all lands
  • That anniversary dinner at the restaurant when you talk about the ups and downs of the past year and how you both believe in that shared heart of yours that what's to come really will be better than ever
  • The walk around the lake with your daughter while she points and laughs at geese vying for hard bread crumbs and the sun starts to rest easy on that distant cloudbank
  • Naps - the kind that happen to you because you've had a full day (or even a full week) before it and your body is gently whispering, begging for a slow down
  • Afternoons with your grandparents that cover nothing and everything all at once, allowing you to learn a lot about them and a little about yourself
  • Listening - really listening - to someone else without the intent to respond, focusing on their words, their story, and their needs while you soak it in without regard to your next word
  • Kisses, random or passionate, light or repeated, for daughters and sons, lovers and friends, hellos and goodbyes
  • Learning that comes with time spent getting hands dirty, making mistakes, and trying again and again until you're exhausted, but smarter

And you? What else do you think should never be automated? Reply with your response and I'll work up another list soon.

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