From the Ruby Book Club: Bradbury, Ruby, and the Human Connection in a Virtual World

Virtual receptionists Whitney L. and Stephanie S.
Virtual receptionists Whitney L. and Stephanie S.

Today’s post comes to us via Stephanie S., a virtual receptionist Team Captain at Ruby.

Last year, fellow virtual receptionist Whitney L. organized a Ruby Book Club when she discovered that many Rubys share a passion for reading. It’s a great way to Create Community while engaging in a hobby we already enjoy. Each month, we vote on a new book to read and a few of us meet up to chat about it after Ruby closes for the night. At our last meeting, we discussed our latest book selection: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Written in the 1950s, Bradbury’s book depicts a dystopian society that has witnessed drastic changes in technology and culture. He describes small devices that rest in a person’s ear and transmit voices and television screens the size of an entire wall. Books are outlawed and former classics have been whittled down to just a few sentences. The book’s main character begins to realize that with all of this technology and simplification, meaningful connections with other people have become obsolete. He does not have significant conversations with his co-workers. His wife refers to the characters on her television programs as her family, since she feels closer to them than she does to her husband and actual family members.

It didn’t take much discussion at our book club meeting before Ruby made her way into our conversation! We marveled at how closely parts of Bradbury’s vision parallel our current society, with the giant screens, tiny phones, and information being condensed down to quickly readable bytes. While parts of the story were far-fetched, we do now live in a society where human interactions are increasingly shorter and less personal. Ruby’s mission is to ensure that these interactions are preserved and even strengthened. Each call at Ruby is an opportunity to make a connection, and hopefully, by spreading a little Ruby cheer into the world every day, we can ensure that cultivating personal connections stays alive and well in this increasingly virtual world!

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