My View on Technology

January 12, 2010
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Technology has taken over. It has become the central means of communication all over the world. Technological items such as the Internet and the iPod, although having the ability to make socializing easier, have really crippled humans on a global scale—particularly today’s youth. Technology was designed so that youth could communicate and create a better means of socializing, but has it truly done that? Technology, specifically the Internet and the iPod, has damaged the social abilities of the general populace by ruining its social life and keeping it from developing one.

The use of the Internet has deprived youth from learning the elementary basics of socialization. For example, as the world advances towards a technological education system, the many things that are taught early on in life are diminished. Education over the Internet is no exception. “…they work against the learning of what are called ‘social values’… share everything, play fair, don’t hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, wash your hands, and, of course, flush (Source A).” These very values are the foundation to one’s ability to interact with others. These values are very crucial and cannot be taught by any means provided by the Internet.

The Internet adds things to one’s social life that make one’s development in interaction more difficult. The Internet is intended to make one more capable of socialization, but in fact does not. “A recent study… concluded that Internet uses leads to small but statistically significant increase in misery and depression and a decline in psychological well-being (Source C)”. The reason for socializing is not to be depressed or becoming mentally unstable! It is about creating healthy bonds between people. If a person is depressed, then their ability to articulate and converse with others will be greatly diminished, leaving them with no hope of healthy interaction.

The iPod hinders one’s abilities to make new friends and acquaintances. When one is listening to their iPod, a haven is created around them and it is as though they are shut out from the real world. “Interaction between individuals is slowly diminishing as people use their technological devices instead of attempting to make a new acquaintances…(Source E).” When one is enveloped in this sphere of anti-socialization, it is very rare that they will branch out of their comfort zone to meet new people.

Another negative effect of the iPod is that is it lessons one’s approachability. “‘Oh my bad I was listening to my iPod’. Visible from a good distance away, white earphones sign one thing to people: don’t bother trying to talk to me (Source E).” This truly turns socialization into a lose-lose situation. Not only is an iPod user not going to approach anyone, but now no one will approach them.

One popular argument that supporters of these technologies have is that it is easier to be in contact with friends and family. “Data showed that as people in their sample used the Internet more, they reported keeping up with fewer friends (Source B).” The fact that Internet users keep up with these friends less often may seem like reverse-psychology, but it is still fact. The Internet was intended to keep friends together, but instead keeps them apart.

Another argument that supporters have is that developing relationships on the Internet can “foster openness, self-confidence, and a greater sense of ease…(Source C).” If this were true, wouldn’t these “friends” spend more time with each other? According to Sample F, non-Internet users spend 94.2 minutes per day together, which is 34.3 minutes more than those who use the Internet’s 59.9 minutes. Those who do not use the Internet clearly grew closer to their friends than those who use the Internet did.

Many supporters of technology in socialization claim that the iPod “does more to unite people (Source D)”, and possibly further their friendships. “This adaption to new music styles and experiences in group may have detrimental effects (Source E)”. Personally, I believe that among these “effects” is the lack of balance between speaking and listening. If two people are listening to music, then they are not speaking. Furthermore, they are not even listening to each other, which is a major form of friendship.

Socialization has been taken the world captive and technology is the captor. It has done so by the depriving of social skills and the depletion of social lives. The innovations meant for improving socializing have lead to the crippling of everyone’s social life, particularly youth’s. It has only been detrimental for the current generation, and will continue to be for the future generation. It is now the duty of the current generation to be rid of these intoxicating technologies. Is it up for the challenge?

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