Technology: Good or Bad?

January 12, 2010
Inventions in the technological industry have done so much for this world, good and bad. Some people and researchers say that technology and online interactions have hurt our social skills face to face with people. These online social life killers like Facebook and MySpace is thought of to take people away from their social lives and lead us towards boredom and depression. Technology and new inventions in this industry have shaped this world in many ways, including bad ways unfortunately; and they have made most of the population socially awkward.

The truth is online social networking and chats have made us socially uncomfortable. There is evidence to this idea as well; “Data showed that as people in this sample used the Internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends. They also reported spending less time talking to their families”(Affonso 1). So these tools have not only hurt our social lives with our friends, but they are also hurting family relationships. Another study with stats “showed that people that were non-Internet users spent 287 hours a year with their family; while Internet users only spent a total of 185 hours with their family” (Nie and Hillygus). Technology is hurting not just our social lives, but our actual lives as well. In source B another example of online interactions hurting our actual lives is, “…experiencing more daily stress, and feeling more lonely and depressed” (Affonso 1). This infinite use of technology has been slowly causing more and more stress and seclusion. While we love the internet and how cool and easy to use it is, it is damaging important social and personal aspects of our lives. As Krystal Song puts it she says, “Interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their technological devices instead of attempting to make a new acquaintance…” (1). Technology can be good and can be bad; it just depends on how we decide how to use it.

The other side of this is on the belief that online interactions are just another way of communicating and that it doesn’t do anything to our lives. In source C Yutaka and Coget try to explain that internet is helping the socially disabled people be social and talk to others. They state, “The internet can foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease and comfort in dealing with others.” (1). My response is just that; internet is giving the people an opportunity to be social there and not in their daily lives. It is making the people that are uncomfortable with being social in their daily life worse. Instead of forcing them to do something about it and actually try, internet gives them an easy opportunity to conduct their social lives on their computers. However it is not just the internet hurting us, but also when we are in the world many people find themselves listening to their iPods and MP3 players instead of interacting with others. People believe music brings people together and unites them in a group; Jen Harris says “There are also those who claim that the iPod does more to unite people than it does to divide them” (1). How do people come together as one big social group when they sit there in public and listen to their iPod in their own little world with headphones? They drown out their social lives yet again when they sit around in public and listen to their own music with headphones. When people actually try to talk to them it is difficult when it seems like they are ignoring you, but it is just because they have their iPod playing in their head.

Technology was meant to make life easier, but it is enabling people to destruct their social lives and skills easier as well. Not long ago, people like my parents age didn’t have computers or even phones for a while and they would actually arrange meetings at certain places. Friendships were developed and kept much better as well when they didn’t have internet and technology like that. So next time you want to turn on your computer, try calling some friends to meet up and go see a movie or just hang out. Life will be much better if we create real friendships instead of online ones and if we spend more time actually talking face to face and less time wasting our lives on the internet. The world has much more to offer than the internet, and it is time for the people of this world to see that.





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