Technology is Slowly Diminshing Society's Social Skills

January 12, 2010
By Paige Hobbs SILVER, Cypress, Texas
Paige Hobbs SILVER, Cypress, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

At my school there is this boy named Johnny who is very quiet and awkward, he hardly ever talks during school hours. He sits by himself during lunch and all school activities, but on the Internet he is completely a different person. Johnny becomes this lively and exciting person the minute he begins to use his computer, but why is it that he changes as soon as he begins to hide behind his computer? It is because technology has lessened his ability to have face to face conversations with someone, he is able to do it on his computer because he cannot see them. Did you know that average teenager from the age of 13 to 17 years old sends 1,742 text messages a month? ( Their reasons for having this enormous amount of text messages is the same reason as Johnny’s, their ability to have a face to face conversation has been weakened by technology. I was watching a news clip of a girl who has 36,600 text messages a month and her reason was the exact same as Johnny. Technology makes our society more advanced but at the same time it damages our ability to carry on a conversation in person.

Whenever you are seen listening to your iPod in public place you automatically give off the vibe to not “bother trying to talk to me” (Song 1). The white earphones are a signal that you do not talk to anyone and that you want to be completely isolated. The people in today’s society use their technology to isolate them rather then making a new acquaintance with someone (Song 1). Since today’s technology is so small and easy to transport people are able to bring their own little world into public places; they are able to be texting on their cell phone and listening to music on their iPod instead of engaging in whatever else is going on around them. I have heard from many people that iPods make them feel like the music “deepens the experience of walking through the world” and that nothing can ever hurt them, but what they do not realize is that they are hurting themselves (Harris 1). By listening to your iPod in a public you are destroying your chance to have a conversation with another interesting human being. These people who listen to iPods and text in a public place cannot experience the real emotions that come along with a face to face conversation, that you cannot get from listening to a song or reading a text message.

Since technology has made our society more advanced there has been the new invention of online classes that you can take in the comfort of your own home instead of going to school with other people. If you are learning at your house by yourself instead of learning with other people then you are damaging your social skills as well because you are not interacting with other people. Yes, getting an education is the most important thing no matter how or when you get it but in order to be successful in this society you need to be able to have social skills and that is what online classes works against (Postman 1). Whenever you go to a job interview, you are going to be judged based on your personality, education, and vibe you give off when you are around people. If you were to take online classes at home you would not be as outstanding as a person who took classes at a school because they were around other people they have gained this certain spark that you would not have taking into consideration that you isolated yourself from other people. Online classes can teach you how to multiply or write an excellent paper but they cannot teach you any social values or how to have an intriguing face-to-face conversation with someone. There was a recent study done at Carnegie Mellon University on whether or not technology makes an increase “in misery and loneliness and a decline overall psychological well being” (Affonso 1). The conclusion of their study over a one to two year period was that people who used the Internet more kept up with fewer friends, spent less time talking to their families, experienced more daily stress, and that they were feeling much more lonely and depressed (Affonso 1). Sadly this is what technology does to you it isolates you from the real world and lessens the number of superb conversation you have with people in person.

My opposing side might argue that music can bring people together because they share a common interest. It has been reported that once a month a company called Playlist hosts iPod DJ nights at a the London Bar, there is no set guest list everyone is invited to it and they are the entertainment for the guests (Harris 1). The guests at these DJ nights create fifteen-minute playlists so they can hook their iPods up to the speakers and eventually giving the whole night a big range of music (Harris 1). Also, that these DJ nights bring a wide range of people there have been “cross-dressing goths, the occasional pregnant lesbian and, of course, average Londoners just looking to kick back after a day at the office” (Harris 1). My response to this would be that just because this one city gets together to have these iPod party nights does not mean that everyone has them in other words this idea has a logical fallacy in it called tokenism. Tokenism is where just because one group of people does it does not mean that everyone does it and bad logic is used. Another argument that may be made is that the Internet makes it easier to keep in touch with friends and also online relationships are being formed (Coget and Yutaka 1). My response to this would be that first of all these people that they are meeting online and forming relationships could be predators. They could be potentially endangering themselves because people in this society pretend to be people that they are not online. Also that in the next paragraph of this article is says that “online relationships are impersonal and less favorable, one study suggests that online relationships simple take longer to develop than those face-to-face” (Coget and Yutaka 1). This article and idea basically defeats itself because would you or would you not want a relationship with someone that is personal and interesting? I know I would and the Internet is not a place to meet someone that you want that with.

Overall, I think that technology is having a bad effect on our society it is lessening our ability to have face to face conversations with other human beings. Technology isolates you whenever you are in public place and can potentially endanger your life and your well-being. You cannot have true emotions and feelings expressed over a text message or in a song as they are in person. The long-term effect that technology can have on you is how many text messages are your kids going to have in ten years if the average monthly text messages are 1,742 now ( Do you want your children to be hiding behind their computers and cell phones rather experiencing the real world with other people? This is what our society is heading for if we do not slow down the use of technology, children isolated, hiding behind their computers, and not being able to carry on conversations with people in person.

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