Erving Polster, PhD, 90+ year old master therapist, presenter, and author, opened the Existential Humanistic Institute 2017 Conference with an audience discussion via Skype.
Though he doesn’t see or hear very well, and no longer facilitates in-person therapeutic groups, the keynote speaker had an insightful distance conversation with conference attendees. Combining human interaction with distance delivery, the speaker and members of the audience came up with several realizations, including the following:
Erving: The computer cannot be a good substitute for the group experience, but it can be a good intermediary.
Kirk: The computer is difference from letter writing because it has a lot of advertisements.
Marlene: If you were with us personally, what would be your theme for us today?
Erving: Existence (experience) comes before essence (meaning). However, the experience is not sufficient, also need meaning. Human beings need meaning and belonging. The medium is the message is confusing. To me it means there is an inseparability between the communicator and what he is communicating.
Sonya: Facebook is the medium, it’s not the guilty party…There’s hardly anything so good that it can’t be overdone. (i.e., reading or the computer).
Erving: How wondrous that I can be talking to you in San Francisco this way…Things can happen in communities that are stimulated by the computer.
AgeSong’s elder communities throughout the San Francisco Bay area are alive with in-person impromptu and planned groups that demonstrate the value of meaningful intergenerational group interactions.
Through distance delivery, the AgeSong Today blog shares this documentation with the world.