The Evolution of Our Species

January 12, 2010
By David Hansen SILVER, Houston, Texas
David Hansen SILVER, Houston, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

If for some disastrous reason I suddenly lost my cell phone, iPod, Facebook, iChat, Skype, and computer, my world would fall apart. How would I communicate with anybody? Like it or not our world revolves around advanced technology. In America there has been some debate about the advantages of technology in our society. Many people point out that technology hurts our interactions with other people, by making it harder to have face-to-face conversations. However, to keep up in today’s world with the fast pace movement of communication, we would be very far behind without technology. We would be as my mom says, “incommunicado.” In my opinion, technology has greatly helped people’s social skills, but when it is overused it can cause problems.

Technology increases our social skills in many ways. Without something like Facebook, iChat, Skype, or a cell phone we would greatly limit our interactions with people near and far away. We need these devices to stay in touch and communicate. On a daily basis I check and use my Facebook to talk to friends, share pictures, and write about things I like and don’t like. I use this, my cell phone, and iChat to talk to classmates also. I can ask people what the homework or assignment was for the week or weekends. I think another very useful device is Skype. Before Skype I only got to see my cousin on long holidays because he lives in Dallas. Now that I have Skype however I get to talk to him face-to-face whenever I want.

In this day and age we need the internet for many of our daily activities such as, email, local and world news, and the weather. I know in my own life my phone has helped me by increasing the number of friends I communicate with. I used to not have many friends and I always felt awkward talking to them on the house phone. Then I got a cell phone and everything changed. I started texting friends and suddenly I had many more contacts. I totally agree with the statement that, “The internet can make it easier to keep in touch with friends… the internet is a common space to encounter new friends” (Coget and Yutaka 1). IChat has also increased social interactions with friends and people you are getting to know.

In my life my iPod is very essential to me. I love my iPod so much because music is such of an essential part of my life. I will commonly hear this expression being used, “I can’t live without… listening to music” (Harris 1). This source also talks about how iPods can unite people more then they divide them. Lisa and Jonny Rocket are founders of Playlist, a community of iPod users. Once a month they host an iPod DJ night at a London bar. Everyone brings 15-minutes sets of music they have created or just enjoy. They play these on the speaker system and enjoy a very diverse range of music. These parties are open to everyone; therefore they have very diverse members that show up. Lisa and Jonny both agree that, “iPods act to bring people together… Some people talk about iPods being an isolating thing… here you’ve got a setup where individuals use a personal technology and make it a social event” (Harris 1). Music plays such an important part in all our lives. Without music our lives wouldn’t be half as exciting as they are now. Music feeds your soul.

There are many points I have to disagree with when looking at the source about how technology decreases our social skills. For example, I totally disagree that iPods are causing less interaction between people. In a recent source I read, I saw the statement, “Interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their technological devices instead of attempting to make a new acquaintance or simply experience the ‘natural’ sights and sounds around them” (Song 1). This source is a hasty generalization because she is quoting the statement on insufficient samplings without any basis. I have to point this out because this cannot be true for all people. I know this is not true for myself because I have many friends and I constantly use the internet. As a student the internet is a very valuable resource where you can get all the reference information you need at your fingertips.

On the chart in one of the sources by Nie and Hillygus, I read a study that showed the differences between internet users and non-internet users. The study reports non-internet users to have less party time than internet users do. I personally can’t agree with this because I use the internet multiple times and still I go to many parties. Also, the results of the socialization factor are barely noticeable. There is a logical fallacy in this source as well. It is a selective sampling because they only have one source, Yesterday Diary Data. They need more sources and proof about where they got this information.

Another source I disagree with is the argument about how the internet causes misery and loneliness. The article states, “Data showed that as people in this sample used the internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends, experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed” (Affonso 1). I really don’t know how this is true. I myself use the internet all the time and I don’t feel stressed or lonely. This is a logical fallacy because it is selective sampling. His only source is HomeNetproject. In addition, this is a false cause argument because she is assuming an unlikely chain of events will occur.

In my opinion, technology has greatly helped people’s social skills. It has helped by giving us many useful connection devices like Facebook, iChat, Skype, email and the internet. This is a growing debate in America, and I believe that technology is not going away. People have to adjust to life in a very fast-paced technologically advanced society. You can’t ever stop or go back to the way things were years ago. Technology is always advancing whether you like it or not.

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