There are images of teenagers sitting together but their eyes glued to their phones accompanied by the quote “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” Although technology has brought us many wondrous things and has the potential to bring people together, one has to one wonder if the speaker is right. Has technology become more important than human interaction?Are we becoming disconnected from each other?
Although scientists and psychologists are conducting studies to find the ramifications of spending so much time engrossed in virtual realms,you don’t need a degree to see that technology has a huge impact on how we interact with each other.
If used properly, technology like cell phones and social networking has the power to bring people together. It can connect us with friends and relatives across the country. It can help us reach and interact with people who live in different countries. We can forge friendships and business relationships with people whom we never would have met otherwise. By increasing our connections to others,technology can broaden our horizons and understanding of different groups of people.
However, most people aren’t using technology to that extent. They use it to spend time in isolation instead. How many times have you opted to text or call a friend instead of talking to them face to face? Have you ever emailed your professor or boss from the comforts of your desk or home instead of having an actual conversation with them? Why? Because it was convenient or you didn’t want to be bothered? Because you were feeling lazy? Because you didn’t want to talk face to face with the person? No matter the reason, using technology to talk someone is a form of isolation.
Isolation caused by improperly using technology can lead to social awkwardness. By not interacting with other people, you lose the ability to read and understand social cues. For example, if you’re talking to someone and they are fidgeting or crossing their arms, it’s a good indication they don’t want to talk to you. Someone with low social intelligence wouldn’t know that.
The use of technology can also cheapen real life social interactions. At concerts or sporting events, many people pull out their phones and cameras to record videos and take pictures instead of being in the moment. Instead of savoring and enjoying their meals, people pull out their phones to take pictures first. When out with family or friends, people text and answer emails instead of giving their full attention to each other. They have to be connected or connect with a virtual reality at every single moment for fear of “missing out”.
Although technology has the power to increase our connections, it also has the power to tear people apart. Instead of focusing on the quantity of connections we have, we should focus on the quality. When we reach the end of our lives are really going to remember the countless hours we’ve spent staring at screens?
What do you think? Is technology killing human interactions? If so what can be done about it? Let’s talk in the comments!