Technology: More help or harm?

Help

Illustration by Kelly Gillit / THE FLARE

 

It has come to no surprise that the technology/social media phenomenon is here to stay.If we think back 10 or 20 years ago, we are amazed how we ever did some of the things we are able to do now.

The five billion mobile users around the globe represent the largest social community in the history of mankind, that is more than twice the size of the entire Internet and it covers more than 90 percent of the world’s population.

Thanks to Internet-based social networking, text messaging and emails, people today are more connected to one another than ever before. Technology and social media have allowed a rapid flow of information to a large group of people, which in the case of sharing information the invention of computers and cellphones has brought economic and social change to the world.

Technology has allowed people across the world to connect and interact without having to fly thousands of miles to communicate with each other.

Digital information can be sent with the click of a button. Software, books, music and video files can be easily distributed to anyone, anywhere.

Technology and social media have begun to satisfy our wants and needs, so much so that our daily lives solely consist of using some type of technology.

Soon our ability to interpret personality and character is going to be highly supported by technology. Perhaps social skills can be enhanced by using technology and face-to-face communication. We believe we will be a lot more accurate in our assessments with a combination of both.

 

Harm

An overload of technological advancement has hindered the development of social skills in the current generation.  As technological advances appear on a daily basis there seems to be an escalating disregard for former social graces and basic literacy skills. Why invite  friends for lunch when you’re constantly focused on texting others or checking Twitter or Facebook for most of the time? It portrays loud and clear that their time and conversation is of no value.

Although many of these developments have evolved to the benefit of mankind, many are used outside the realm of moderation and have become an addiction for some and a crutch for others.  The art of face-to-face conversation has been lost. Almost all communication is now conducted through email, texting and social media. Even phone calls have become rare. Staring at a screen spares the embarrassment or awkwardness of talking to another human being.

Letter writing, meaningful conversation and even looking up information in a dictionary or phone book – rather than instantly resorting to the Internet – really has merit.

It’s time to resurrect these endangered arts. Texting and email have become the new social life, global positioning systems have all but replaced maps, landline telephones have almost become extinct, Facebook and Twitter have blown up into the new blog spot for anyone and anything and the Internet has become the ultimate source for research.

So send a handwritten letter to a relative, use your landline to call a friend. Take the time to talk to an older relative – someone who remembers life as it once was –  and see what you can learn. They were not as privileged to have the amount of technology we have, but they turned out just fine.

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