Definitions of Humor

Maintaining High-Touch Humor

In a High-Tech Society ©2001

By Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.

Originally published in
AATH! Newsletter, President's Column, February, 2001

As many of you are aware, my tenure as AATH president ended with the Conference in San Diego, so this will be my final presidential column.  My two-year term was a wonderful experience for me, and I want each one of you to know how much I appreciate having had the opportunity.

As I sit here a week after the San Diego Conference, I am reflecting about the impact that the conference, (and indeed that AATH) has had on my personal life.  I left the conference feeling uplifted and energized.  Being in the presence of, and involved with, so many talented individuals made me think about how invigorated I feel with the connection that humor creates for me.  I also started thinking about how our high-tech society is evolving.  We, as a society, are receiving more humor (through electronic media like the Internet), but it comes to us without the “high-touch” contact with another human being. 

 We have learned to freely communicate through voice mail and email, and in so doing we miss human contact.  Humor—in the form of jokes, stories, and images—arrives daily at my home via the Internet.  While I enjoy being captivated by these humor opportunities, I realized at the conference that I am adapting more and more to “high-tech” humor and missing “high-touch” humor—connecting with another humor being.

While voice mail and email is becoming integrated into most of our lives, let’s not allow high-tech communication to replace high-touch commune-ication.  Now, as I receive humor in electronic form, I am recommitted to transforming the “tech” into the “touch” by sharing that humor personally with another individual.

 It took the “high-touch” experience at the conference to remind me of the importance of integrating humor into social activity.  So, I encourage all of you, as you interact in the high-tech world of communication, to once again make humor a high-touch, social event.

Humor Matters™

Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D.
Mirthologist and Clinical Psychologist
3972 Barranca Pkwy. Suite J-221
Irvine, CA 92606