Technology: Helpful or a Time Waster?

January 11, 2010
Rachel from New Jersey sent over thirty-six thousand text messages in one month, but still found time to spend with family and friends. Is technology helping our society? We would be liars if we were to say that technology has not help form our society but the more that technology develops the more chances there are for more people to escape the real face to face that make us truly social people. However there are others who disagree. Some of these people think that texting, internet communications, and instant messaging are damaging people social skills. This theory may be becoming more and more plausible with more and more teenagers and young children using cell phones and social networking websites. Technology can help benefit society; however if people let it take over their lives technology will no longer be beneficial.

Have you ever tried to talk to someone and heard the telltale sign of a phone chiming the arrival of a text message, then the person you are trying to talk to becomes so absorbed into their phone that they do not hear a word you are saying. Texting may be a way to communicate faster and more efficiently however some may say that texting is a distraction and that many “texters” abuse it. There is a time and place for texting and so many people are too inconsiderate to realize whether when they are texting is a good time or not. So many teenagers text while in a face-to-face conversation with people or when they are driving, Jessica Press wrote an article in Seventeen Magazine about teens who text and drive and accidentally wreck their cars “But there is no text that in so important that it’s worth crashing your car—or ending your life” (Press 1) While texting at the wrong time can be dangerous it is also bothersome to the people around you. If you text more than you have face-to-face conversations this can seriously hinder you social skills. Imagine talking to someone and them just shouting out “L.O.L!” instead of actually laughing. Now the chances are it won’t get that bad, regardless people should be talking face-to-face to really enjoy each other’s company. You don’t see families have Christmas at their own houses and to talk to a family member they call or text them and discuss what they are having for their Christmas feast. You see families coming together for the holidays under one roof and actually talking, Isn’t there a reason for that?

Technology is also being used as a way to keep in contact with friends even if you don’t have their cell phone number. Social networking is on the rise, between Facebook and MySpace who would even bother to talk in person with other people anymore. In addition, “With the internet information can be transmitted and received with ease at any time of the day to and from any number of friends” (Coget and Yutaka 1) Social networking is easily accessible and keeps you able to keep in touch with long-distance friends and contact people you may not see everyday. However many people on social networking sites are not always whom they say they are. On almost all social network sites you can post pictures and tell about your day all you want but not everyone could be what their picture makes them to be. Plus, there are many people out there who will add others as their friends who they have never met before if the other person requests or even if they know a person from their school. This can make it hard to decipher who you can and cannot trust. Besides the dangers of social networking, it can be detrimental to social skills, if you are always on social networking and talking in chat rooms how could you possibly know when people are being serious or are kidding with you? So much of the human social interactions are body language and tone of voice, and if you are online, you aren’t hearing people’s voices or seeing a live view of people. This seems very lonely; “A recent study at Carnegie Mellon University concludes that internet use leads to small but statistically significant increases in misery loneliness and a decline in overall psychological well being” (Alfonso 1).

Music has also long been a distraction for not just America but a lot of the world. From the Beatles to Lady Gaga people have obsessed with music. However, how much is too much? Is listening to an iPod while doing homework or trying to finish a project a good thing or a bad thing? Some people cannot focus with music playing at the same time but some say that music is what helps them complete their work. However in most cases “Interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people turn to their technological devices instead of attempting a new acquaintance” (Song 1). Although music may be taking away from social interaction it also may be contributing to it. In a small café in London you can compile a fifteen-minute playlist and play it at this café for everyone to listen to. If anyone is allowed to come in and play their music, “The range of music that comes out of the speakers is impressive, from ‘80s dance hits to synth-laden digital jazz” (Harris 1) If all this different types of music are coming together then wouldn’t that mean that all different people are coming together at this café? So many people in this café must meet new people everyday and interact with others on their favorite types of music.

So overall, Technology is only bad if you make it out to be bad. Every person is using their iPods, their phones, and their internet in different ways. There will always be someone who has spent less time sitting in front of the computer and there will always be someone who has spent more time on a computer or texting their best friend, but no matter how much time anyone spends in front of a computer or has their phone stuck in front of their nose their always should be some face-to-face contact to even things out. You cannot spend your entire life living behind a computer screen. Technology can help benefit society; however if people let it take over their lives technology will no longer be beneficial.





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