Old style communication derailed by technology

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Improvement or cowardly? When does technology become too much? With the recent announcement of the new and improved iPhone 5 I started to ask myself these questions. With all of these new and improved phones and technologies I often wonder is the new way of communication killing the art or is it helping us connect with each other more efficiently? I recently heard a story about a young man finding out that a family member had passed on Twitter; how many of us would be appreciative to find out someone we love passed on a worldwide website? On the other end of the spectrum technology can help save people and spread the information not just in neighborhoods but all over the word.

I can think of one recent event that helped us spread information in a fast pace, the successful operations of Seal Team Six. This information came all the way from the Middle East to Washington, D.C. in a matter of minutes not hours. In the Webster dictionary communication is defined as “transmitting a message; giving or exchange of information” so technically texting, tweeting and facebook are all forms of communication. Anybody can get a text or tweet but how many of us have received a personalized note for no reason lately?

When we text, tweet or just exchange information through some form of medium we lose the connection between people. In today’s technical world how can we expect to become better public speakers or be comfortable with confrontation when a majority of us sit behind a screen and type. I’ll admit, I have become a victim of this as well, but I realized that won’t get me far in life at all so I try to avoid having big talks through texts, and prefer to have them face-to-face. We are not experiencing the real world when we are behind a screen wishing for something instead of going out and achieving it.

Now don’t get me wrong I believe technology is awesome and has made us able to connect with people from all over the world, however it becomes almost a crutch in the real world. My grandmother and grandfather still send all of my family members’ notes and telephone calls to express what happened within that day/week and just to talk. I always look forward to those notes, letters or phone calls knowing that they took the time out of their day to think about me.

Then we have the extreme technology freaks that have improved spreading information but are often accused of giving generations a ‘way out’ of communicating the hard things face-to-face. Breaking-up through a text message, how is that helping a person work-out the necessary conflict or teach them anything in life? Not only is it a cowardly way out but it is also hurtful to the person who is being broken up with. The answer to the question of the beginning is this: it is your own opinion if technology is helping make a connection or making people to dependable on it.

Confrontation is a part of life and without it how can we expect to overcome the workplace problems or our personal life problems. No one likes confrontation but it does build up a person’s character and gives them life experience that you cannot find on a computer screen or the cellphones’ screen. So next time you send that text or tweet, think to yourself can I do this in person?  The answer is usually yes, I have found that technology is helpful, but needs to be used in the right way and not over abused. Make the personal connection and experience life outside of the technical world.

 

Email:cmolthen2@radford.edu