Interaction: What it Means

Without looking up the definition right away, the word Interaction conjures up images of people connecting and emotionally responding to each other through recognized vocal and colloquial body language and speech patterns. Through these body and facial cues, we interact not just on a vocal level but a physical one as well. Of course, the actual definition of Interaction, as defined by old white guys, is much more polished than that. Interaction, as defined in the Webster’s Dictionary, is:

Sure, the definition itself leaves for quite a bit of open interpretation but beyond the physical and emotional interactions we hold with people, and how those interactions define our character quirks, how are we defined by the interactions we have with everything else? Can we categorize the experiences we hold with items that we use every day as an interaction? If one were to substitute ‘particle’ for any other object, we certainly could. So what about the interactions we have with our dogs? Or the interactions we have commuting? Or to be topical, how are we defined by the interactions we have with technology?

Technology is what we make of it, as our society lends a helping hand in creating the very things that we plan to use everyday,  our role as designers is to create technology that serves it’s functionality. This technology is a constant work over time, as our prolonged interactions with the objects we use reveal more and more about what we look for in the things we use or how we create them in our own likeness. And to me, Interaction is not simply the concept and execution of someone or a being connecting with another organism or object, but a sort of trial and error that helps us determine or evaluate. Interaction gives us the means to develop critical reasoning to judge other interactions we have. We develop our own preferences and base our personalities on the things we use and how we use them. Because of this, our interactions are valuable to shaping our very being and determining how we will work tomorrow and in the future.

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