Were You talking to Me?

January 11, 2010
When trying to get a small get together with your friends or even your family do you send a letter in the mail and wait to see results, days later, hoping they check their mail? When you talk to your friends, but don’t have time to have a face- to- face chat, what do you use? Also, at a party what do you use for entertainment? What do you use to listen to music? People say that technology does not help a person socialize or help others stay in contact with people, but everything that was needed in my example, involved technology in some form of way. This is why I have come to the belief that technology does socially outcast people, but helps increase social skills.

Many people think the internet in a way dissocializes people, but in my opinion “the internet can make it easier to keep in touch with friends”(Coget 1). Which is completely true, there are many ways to keep in touch over the internet from e-mail, to IM, all the way to websites that allow you to communicate in all those ways! Such as Facebook or MySpace. The internet is always a wonderful place to “foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease dealing and comfort dealing with other”(Coget 1). When talking over the internet for most people it is less awkward, because your appearance does not have to be revealed, and people are you usually in their own comfort zones, such as their own homes, which makes it easier for them to communicate with others. Thus, it makes it easier for them to stay in contact with people, or even gain more friendships.
When people think iPod, it’s like they think it’s just one big distraction from a conversation. Krystle Song claims that “visible from a good distance away, white earphones signal one thin to most people: don’t bother trying to talk to me”(1). Which is just a hasty generalization. IPods can be used for more than just individual entertainment. In fact “there are also those who claim that the iPod does more to unite people than it does to divide them”(Harris 1). There are many ways the iPod is able to help people come together or even help people meet new friends. Parties are always a good way to meet people, so “once a month, Playlist hosts iPod Dj nights at a London bar”(Harris 1). It is a perfect opprutunity for all types of pepolr to come together, share music, and get to know people of similar taste of music.
Texting is all the rage these days, but people believe that it lowers social life. How can that be? When texting someone you are able o get to know new friends better, stay in touch with old friends, or even text relatives! With cell phones communicating with people is just a small click away. It is completely possible to maintain a regular conversation with someone face-to-face, but be able to text too. During the week it’s hard to fit a regular conversation with busy schedules, but with cell phones you are able to have a mobile conversation wherever you are and with who ever you want!

Many people make a case that because of the iPod, “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 is a false cause, they assume that just because people listen to their headphones in public places or anywhere they are being distracted from everyone and everything around them. They also make it seem that people always turn to their devices instead of interacting with other people. It doesn’t seem since technology was invented that people are starting to make less friends, or talk less with other people, it seems since technology was invented, that people are able to stay in touch and make new friends even faster!

People bring up the argument that internet users start to be less social with their friends, families, and stop attending social activities, such as parties. In the chart from a scholarly paper they show examples of internet users and non-internet users on daily social activities, but the results show internet users being the ones to not attend event, or engage in regular conversation. The whole chart is one big selective sampling. We are unaware at what times people were surveyed, who was surveyed, and where they were surveyed. Also, to bring up another point, during regular school days it is easier to log onto the internet, or even call someone (which was a higher rate for internet users on the chart) rather than attending a party or even a schooling event. In addition, being on the internet doesn’t necessarily mean you are not socializing. As I said in my previous paragraph, there are websites, such as Facebook and MySpace that allow you to communicate with not only friends, but with far away relatives.
Another dispute fighting against technology is that it “increases in misery and loneliness and [is] a decline in overall psychological well-being” for the user (Affonso 1). Blaming the internet for someone’s misery is a slippery slope. Not everyone that uses the internet automatically becomes depressed. Also, using the internet does not create loneliness, but helps people connect with others. When using the internet there are so many ways to get connected with other people and there are also simple ways where people can find others of the same similarities. Along with the slippery slope there is also a selective sampling they used. They tell they “studies a sample of 169 people in Pittsburg during their first year or two inline” (Affonso 1). They may have interviewed the people, but they chose the people themselves, and we have no information on how their state of mind was. They could’ve already been depressed, or sick and they were just interviewed two years by people who chose them to back up their own information. People even argue “the internet can even provide opportunities by freeing those who are too depressed to conduct social life in the real world”(Coget and Yutaka1).
This is why I believe technology does not stray people from being social, but actually helps them to become social. With technology increasing everyday from new phones, new laptops, and new IPods, everyday will become and easier day for people to communicate freely. With communication in hand, in homes, and everywhere, people will start to realize it is not technology keeping them from being social, it is technology that will help them to become social.

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