Technology seems to be at the forefront of most of the world’s news, and with good reason; it’s now infiltrated almost every part of our lives. We use technology to help us be more efficient at work and at home. Technology is helping us create family meals, make fewer mistakes, and even become healthier people. But there are still many who shun technology and all of its conveniences, which has those in the technical community stumped. After all, why on earth would anyone deny the many benefits that technology has been proven to give us? We have more opportunities now to connect than our ancestors ever dreamed we would have.
Some cultural analysts may be able to give some reason as to why someone would want to shun technology and its benefits. As far as communication is concerned, it appears that the more comfortable we become with communicating via a machine, the less comfortable we are with communicating person-to-person.
From there, experts go deeper, revealing that we now expect more from technology while we expect less from each other. For example, we may feel loneliness, but become afraid of the work that actual intimacy involves. The same is true of friendships, the illusion of which we can get from connecting virtually over social networks. This allows us to avoid having to experience the sometimes gritty situations that friendship can place us in.
But how is the next generation faring with this new way of communicating? Not well, according to experts. This is because the communication behaviors being demonstrated by parents are being copied by their children. And so when they see their parents on their phones or computers a lot, the impression is made that these carry more importance than real human interaction.
What Are We Missing?
Those who remain connected may not think they are missing anything; after all, they can know what is happening anywhere in the world at any given time, along with what those they know are doing around the clock. But what about the ins and outs of real-time, physical communication? What about the interactions between people that add to the fabric of human connection, something no technology can imitate?
Many people choose to unplug. Even if it’s just on the weekends, some say it can be a healthy thing for many of us, as it forces us to be here in the now. And it can also make us realize just how precious human interaction can be. Interacting physically allows for learning on many levels; not only can we gauge a person’ s reaction to what we say, but we can also learn things about them that we simply cannot by the use of technology.
Worried psychologists are also saying that adults who have adopted technology are at great risk of forgetting all they have learned with regard to human interaction and the love, compassion and empathy that goes along with it. And that means our children may never get the chance to learn about, let alone experience these emotional delights. And not knowing about them leaves little room for respect.
A Positive Side to Tech?
Another school of thought points to the many benefits of children and parents using technology to improve their connections with one another. A recent survey showed that, of the 500 families interviewed, a large number of teen family members reported feeling closer to their parents in real life when communication was also happening with them online via social media sites like Facebook. But how is this possible?
According to advocates, the simple act of ‘liking’ a post, comment or photo made by your child on Facebook can be enough for them to feel parental support. So in this case, advocates say that social media can provide families with more, not less, of the positive human interactions on which we as a race thrive.
Citations: Digital Journal
Published on behalf of Mr. Jesse Schwarz. He writes on a variety of topics related to technology, including the latest network infrastructures offered by internet service providers and how these technologies can enhance a consumer’s online experience.