I was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1992.  In nearly 30 years, it’s amazing how technology has and continues to change both my job as an attorney and yours, as officers and directors.

On Thursday, I was a mediator, mediating a dispute between owners and their association.  What usually takes place in several conference rooms, took place over the computer with on-line video.  All the attorneys and the parties saw and spoke with each other.  It worked perfectly.

In 1992, when a new Board was elected, the forms for the Secretary of State needed to be mailed in.  Now it’s done instantly by computer.

Of course the election itself can now be done electronically, if the Board wants it that way.

Records requests had to be done in person – today many communities have websites that contain all of the association’s official records.

Copies of the records were always made by the association at about 25 cents per page.  Today, you can take pictures for free with your digital camera, cell phone or portable scanner.

If a Board member couldn’t attend a meeting – they simply missed out.  Now they can appear through video or audio technology.

To be official, a proxy had to be hand delivered or mailed.  Today, a proxy can be faxed, e-mailed, sent by text.  No problem.

Meetings between the association and their counsel were always face to face.  Not any more.  Video conferencing has become the norm within the past two months.

I love teaching and certifying directors at crowded seminar locations.  Over the past two months however, I have certified close to 1,000 people over the computer.

Paying your assessments were done by dropping off or mailing a check to the office.  Today your bank sends it automatically.

I’m probably leaving out numerous other examples of how our lives in our communities have changed as a result of technology.  At first glance, all of these changes sound and seem wonderful.  They have certainly made our lives easier to some degree. So why am I not head over heels about them?   I think the answer is because we have far less personal interaction with each other than we used to.  We’re home communicating by pressing buttons instead of speaking with each other face to face; finding out how our neighbors are doing, how their kids are doing, getting to know each other.  Unfortunately, I don’t see technology slowing down and now we don’t even accidentally bunk into each leaving the house to go to work because we are working at home.

Are you happy with how technology has changed our lives?  Are we slaves to our computers and phones?  Do you miss the interaction we at least used to have with each other?  I certainly do and hate the fact that in person interaction and communication is far less common than it used to be.  I still think it’s necessary.

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