A few months ago, I attended the lecture of Ray Kurzweil, the noted author, scientist, inventor and futurist. He predicted advancements in computers, robotics and genetics leading to a technological singularity, a point where progress is so rapid, humans cannot comprehend it. People will augment their minds and bodies with genetic alterations, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Mankind will be irreversibly transformed as man and machine interact as one. Those who fear the future picture the machine rebellion portrayed by the computer HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and Skynet in the Terminator series. Others argue machines aren’t necessarily bad and will advance the quality and length of human life.

Whether you’re a fan or not of what’s happening, no one can ignore the influence of man-made technologies on human interaction. When I was a kid, if I needed information, I went to the family encyclopedia or public library and looked it up. Now, we tap into our smart phones to access endless resources on cloud based servers for immediate answers. As wonderful as this instant intelligence is, to settle an argument or spawn further debate, it disrupts face-to-face interaction with faces buried in smart phones instead of maintaining eye contact and communicating with expression and inflection. Who hasn’t been ignored in an elevator or seen the oblivious pedestrian walking across the street or an entire family in a restaurant booth with faces glued to smart phones?

In our last newsletter, I wrote we risk finding ourselves alone together without an emotional connection as technology increases. But as distracting as technology is to emotional interaction, it offers boundless opportunities to improve our lives. Last year, we launched connections, YourConnections.net, an online perks and rewards program for our entire law firm network of clients and friends, to thank you for your loyalty and referrals. Now we’re proud to introduce our client portal, YourCaseOnline.com, where our clients can see the current status of their case, view the projected next steps and communicate directly with our team of professionals.

As one of Nevada’s largest and highest rated law firms for the injured and disabled, the Richard Harris Law Firm is always looking for ways to show you how much we care. Let’s stay connected with friends and family, not just through social media, text messaging and email, but in those good old fashioned one-on-one, eye-to-eye conversations with the human touch – where you may not always remember what was said, but you always remember how good you felt.