Texting, Technology, and One Big Life Consumer

January 12, 2010
By , Houston, TX
36,666: that is the number of texts a girl sent in one month, but does she know she is ruining her social skills? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJU_OerCZVE). Technology is taking over the ability to communicate well with people face-to-face. People have started texting while trying to have a conversation with someone at the same time. They have gotten so used to talking to people over text or email that trying to communicate in person is almost impossible. If technology continues to take over the lives of our society, then people will no longer have the ability to socialize in person.

Texting and video games have kept people from spending time with their family and friends. They concentrate more on what they are telling their friend over text, than what is going on with their family. People will text while trying to talk to someone else at the same time; which is not polite at all. Not only texting, but also video games consume people’s lives. All they will think about is defeating the video game, and will spend time trying to beat the game instead of spending time with friends and family. According to Bob Affonso, “as people…used the Internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends,” (1). This shows how technology can take away from social life.

Being on the computer or using the iPod too much can deprive people of practicing social skills. In public, people are using their laptops or iPods to distract themselves from boredom. This keeps them from talking to one another and meeting new people. Without technology like this, we could be interacting more and meeting people who might end up being important in our lives. But if we use technology in public, these opportunities will never arise. People like to preoccupy themselves by using their technology in public, “but is it leading to a society of isolated beings?” (Song 1). Technology is distracting people from realizing what is around them.

Being on the Internet too much can keep you from socializing with different people. A lot of the time, people spend hours on the computer, hours that they could have spent at a football game with some friends or going to a party. Some people even get addicted to the Internet and cannot go an hour without being on it. Norman H. Nie did a study to see the “time diaries for Internet users compared to non-Internet users,” (1). In the study he concluded that people who did not use the Internet appeared at more parties, sport and culture events, had more conversations, and spent more time with family and friends (Nie 1). This study shows how the Internet takes up time that could have been spent doing something exciting or productive.

Some people say that the Internet is good because it is used for people to keep in touch with friends, and is a way of communicating with people. In their article, Coget and Yutaka claim that, “The Internet can make it easier to keep in touch with friends,” (1). When people go on the Internet they do not always go to a website where you can talk to people. They might be going on the Internet to play online video games, or to research information. Even if they are on a website like facebook, where you can talk to people, they are still not practicing social skills. On the computer you can be anyone you want: a cool and confidante guy, or a smart and social girl, but when it comes to face-to-face interaction, all you can be is you. When these authors tell us that, “One study suggests that online relationships simply take longer to develop than those face-to-face and eventually can become as rich,” they are using selective sampling. This article cannot be accounted for because it does not show the other side of the argument (Coget and Yutaka 1).

Some people suggest that technology is good for society because music is shared at parties and events to bring people together. Jen Harris is an author who, after interviewing a college girl named Kelly Doyle-Mace, wrote that, “like many iPod lovers, she said music deepens the experience of walking through the world, rather than detracting from it (1). First of all, if someone wanted to enjoy their experience walking through the world why would they be listening to music from their iPod instead of listening to the music nature has created? Second of all, listening to music while walking around outside keeps you from saying hello to people around you and keeps you from practicing social skills. When the article was written, the author did not realize that she was using selective sampling. The author could have picked this student because they saw her listening to her iPod, or could have chosen to write about her because she talked about her interest in iPods. This article does not have a reasonable argument because it was not proposed fairly.

If people continue to use technology too often, then we will loose the ability to socialize in public. The first reason is that texting and video games have kept people from socializing with family and friends. The second reason is that using the computer and the iPod too much can keep people from practicing social skills. The last reason is that being on the Internet too much can stop people from going out to socialize in public. More importantly, we as people need to socialize to succeed in businesses and in schools. If technology is consuming our lives, then how are we expected to socialize? If we want to continue being a successful nation, we need to remember how to practice social skills in public, not just with technology.

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