How has technology changed the way that we communicate?

This topic has always interested me because it is quite clear that it has, but some people, mostly adults, have not accepted it. At family parties, it is without fail that one of my aunts or uncles comes into a room where all of my cousins and I are hanging out and says, “Everybody is looking at their phones.” This angers me a bit because adults are just as guilty for using their technology to isolate themselves as their teenage children are. Also, there are other people that I would like to talk to; regardless of their physical presence.

  • “Mae’s new feeling of competence and confidence carried her through the week, and given how close she was to the top 2,000, she stayed at her desk the entire weekend…” Pg. 193
  • “The late Apple co-founder didn’t allow his children to spend too much time with the shiny gadgets he created — and even as the iPad roared into success in 2010, his youngest daughters didn’t even have one” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2754547/Apple-boss-Steve-Jobs-didnt-let-children-iPads-limited-tech-consumption.html)
  • In the photo featured above, a little girl (about five or six years old) is using an iPad and wearing headphones. This has been a noticeable change in recent history, people start using technology at a younger age. Steve Jobs saw the dangers in using such advanced technology at a young age and did not let his children use them. While this may not seem like a big deal, as parents are always looking to give their children a distraction so that they can enjoy some peace and quiet, it is. The girl featured in the picture is not learning how to communicate, the screen reveals that she is playing a game of some sort. While it is very important to learn how to use technology in society, it is even more important, and beneficial to learn how to communicate and connect with others.
  • It has been proven that, “too little time spent outdoors impairs a child’s capacity to learn through experience and causes behavioral problems” (http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/554497/Toddlers-risk-dangers-technology). It is crucial for children to spend time outside in nature and with friends in order to learn how to talk to one another and work together, but with the convenience and availability of iPads, and other technology, children are less likely to play outside and get their exercise.

While adults tend to shun children, and even teenagers for being on their phones too much and not enjoying someones company, they are just as guilty of it in most cases, after all, children tend to mimic their parents.

“When caregivers were continuously absorbed in the device, some children did not try to get the adult’s attention, but many began to exhibit limit-testing or provocative behaviors. In this case, many caregivers used a scolding tone of voice, seemed insensitive to the child’s expressed needs, or used physical responses. One parent kicked a child under the table and another pushed a child’s hand away when he tried repeatedly to lift her face up from the device.”
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/healthy_kids/Are-you-using-your-mobile-device-too-much-around-your-child.html#d24f1qilQhpytPoQ.99

In the picture above, there are two parents sitting at a dinner table, both locked into their laptops. While this does not seem like a big deal, it actually is. Assuming that the parents behavior does not change in front of children, they cannot give their full attention to a child, or anyone else that is with them for that matter. It seems as if constantly being connected is an issue. This picture is from a series of images on other images in the series, the screens appear to have sork on them. Working all of the time can cause a big strain on a family’s communication and connection.

In Eggers’ novel, The Circle “[Mae] embarked on a flurry of activity, sending four zings and thirty-two comments and eighty-eight smiles in an hour.” This is a misconception of “activity” that is commonly seen in the novel, and in the real world as well. Mae, much like the adults featured in the photograph is focused more on what is on their screen than whit is actually there.

While parents have been using technology more at home and using it while it distracts them from their children, they are not the only ones that can be blamed. Technology also distances children from their parents.

“One study found that when the working parent arrived home after work, his or her children were so immersed in technology that the parent was greeted only 30 percent of the time and was totally ignored 50 percent of the time” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201303/is-technology-creating-family-divide).

Although this image was taken in a dorm room, this is not very far off from what goes on in some homes today. With something like this going on it is easy to imagine one of these kids not turning around to greet their parent or their friend’s parent. This study is disgraceful, that when someone who works hard all day so that you can have your phone, computer, house, and food arrives home, you do not even have the time to greet them because you are so wrapped up in technology. It has become normal for children to spend a lot of time “alone” in their own home. They isolate themselves from their families and communicate with people through email, text, and social media.

Social media has become such a major part of communication in the world, as there are about 500 million tweets per day, 70 million photos posted on Instagram per day, and 1 out of every 5 pages visited on the internet are Facebook pages. With the rapid growth of social media, over the last decade, it is quite obvious that it has changed the way in which we communicate. Social media has created a society that is in-your-face.

“Most people would trade everything they know, everyone they know- they’d trade it all to know they’ve been seen, and acknowledged, that they might even be remembered. We all know the world is too big for us to be significant. So all we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment” (Eggers 490)

In this photo, the user is taking a picture of an amusement park with her iPhone. Assuming that she will post this picture on a social media cite to show everyone how much fun she had at the park, I wonder, did she really have fun? It seems as if she is trying to show everyone that she had fun, but maybe she is focused too much on that, and not enough on enjoying the rides. Technology helps us to be seen by other people, and that is why it seems to have created a society that is flashy. We try to show people what we do to make us seem as interesting as possible.

Technology has definitely changed the human interaction, but it is interesting to consider, is it better or worse due to technology. While it is easier to reach out and contact people nowadays, it distracts us from what is going on in our environment and with the people who are with us physically, not virtually. Overall, technology has invaded our lives and will continue to do so if we do not make a change.