What We Have Covered in This Article
- 1 Positive Impact of Technology
- 2 How Technology Leads to Social Disconnection
- 3 Conclusion
Last Updated on August 27, 2021 by Editor Futurescope
Technology has grown to the point when it influences human behavior and development. Its impact is evident in the way we interact with each other. Technology has empowered communication in so many ways. It’s become fast, efficient, and global. However, while being always connected, people started to feel that they struggle to build meaningful relationships. Children and teens have been affected most.
New generations are raised with mobile phones and tablets in their hands. For them, technology is an inseparable part of life. So its influence on their socialization and communication skills is profound.
In-person communication is a necessity for the development of social skills. The fact that people spend more time in the virtual environment than in the real world has caused concerns. How do compassion, empathy, and emotional intelligence develop in the context of depersonalization and isolation of virtual communication? How can we maintain healthy social development when children and teens start to avoid face-to-face communication choosing a more comfortable yet less personal digital space? In this article, we’ll look at how technology has transformed the way we interact with each other.
Positive Impact of Technology
To bring a balanced perspective, let’s look at the positive side first. One can’t ignore the communication opportunities created by technology.
Social Connection and Support
Technology supported students with social learning tools during the lockdown. Children and adolescents still had a chance to build connections and stay in touch with teachers and friends while observing social distancing. Although social media, online learning platforms, and video chats weren’t perfect substitutes for real communication, they still helped to decrease the effects of isolation.
Furthermore, students might underperform in school just because they feel intimidated to ask questions in class or approach a teacher to get clarification. Technology, however, provides the necessary support for their academic progress. Students can contact a writing service with a do my essay online request and chat with the writer directly to clarify the details of their school assignments. Besides, a person can join various online student communities and find study buddies. There is a whole support network for students on social media that helps to build relationships and improve collaboration.
Barrier-Free Virtual Connections
Technology enabled global communication. It bridges the distance allowing us to stay in touch with people even if they live on the other side of the world. With video calls, we can be more engaged emotionally. They add things like eye contact and nonverbal cues that virtual communication often lacks.
Besides, technology brings people together. It allows building platforms where we can chat, share our experiences, and find friends. Online communities are open to everyone. People who might have limited social interactions due to various reasons can build relationships online and develop social skills. It promotes inclusion and equality.
How Technology Leads to Social Disconnection
Just like technology can empower communication, it can also hinder the development of communication skills when used excessively.
The major concern is a tendency to substitute face-to-face communication with chatting and emailing. For example, some people find it hard to express their feelings in person, while others struggle to talk to strangers in real life. So they prefer to send a message instead.
We notice this pattern even in children. Whenever they need to face serious or difficult conversations, they turn to technology. Yet, together with real social interactions, they avoid an opportunity to develop social skills and build confidence. It impedes the development of socio-emotional intelligence and leaves them with limited life experience. This makes excessive reliance on technology harmful.
When children are overexposed to technology, they also tend to spend less time observing and interacting with others. They don’t learn how to recognize and respond to social cues. As a result, a lack of real-life interactions obstructs their socialization.
Technology helps to connect people online, but it creates a wall between them in real life. People start to prioritize time spent on devices over being with friends and family. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable. They tend to have more conflicts with parents and friends and miss quality time with them.
Technology can’t replace real-life communications because it offers much shallower connections. A person might have dozens of friendships on social media, but none of them would have emotional value. Studies have shown that people who report most screen time are also more likely to feel lonely and isolated. They lose social connections and struggle to build meaningful relationships.
Digital communication is more abstract and anonymous. It is efficient, but it doesn’t carry the quality of immediate interaction. Anonymity can be beneficial as it helps to protect users’ personal information. However, anonymity might also lead to negative consequences like online cyberbullying.
Feeling that they won’t be held accountable for their words and actions, people tend to behave differently when communicating online than they normally would in real life. They can scare or shame people on purpose. Unfortunately, it’s not rare to see people spreading lies or sending hurtful messages. 43 percent of students report facing bullying at least once. Thus, technology depersonalizes online communication, making people less compassionate.
Although the impact of technology grows every year, it’s still just a tool. When used correctly, technology gives us an opportunity to engage with others and stay connected. However, it can also aggravate the feelings of anxiety and isolation if we fail to balance in-person and virtual communication. Therefore, moderate use of technology should be a priority if we want to keep its impact on our lives within its positive side.