Is Technology a Hazard to Our Social Skills? | Teen Ink

Is Technology a Hazard to Our Social Skills?

January 11, 2010
By Zinkerman SILVER, Houston, Texas
Zinkerman SILVER, Houston, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Technology is a hazard? I bet that question never came to your mind, but it is a heated debate. Some people think that technology is harming our social abilities. With all of the social networks out there people don’t have to meet face-to-face anymore, they can stare at a screen and talk to people many miles away. We have so many social networks like: Facebook, Myspace, iChat, Skype, not to all of the online dating websites that are suppose to find the perfect person for you. The modern technology now allows you to stay in touch with your friends even if they are thousands of miles away. One of the most popular ways of communicating is texting, and for many teens that is their main form of communication. Although technology has enhanced our social abilities to a certain extent, if you use it too much then it could damage your social skills with real people.

Almost every teenager in America has a cell phone, Facebook, Myspace, or something similar to those. They often use, “the internet [to] make it easier to keep in touch with their friends”(Coget and Yutaka 1). Now all companies have email and it helps them to communicate with their boss and finish their work faster. However lots of employees are use their email to contact friends and family outside of work, and this is taking precious time that they aren’t working in. These things can
distract you while you are at work or doing your homework, so you have to limit the time you are using them, or else they can limit the amount of work you get done. The technology we use now lets us multi task and we can be doing two, three, or even more things at the same time. We can get more work done, and accomplish more things in one day than we use to. Use to we didn’t have texting and you wouldn’t have to spend hours a day with a cancer machine to your head. Texting is also keeping teens from having brain cancer, because cell phone emit radiation then can cause brain cancer. We can now watch news, talk to someone and do many other things at the same time. This could free up your day and give your hours of free time that you wouldn’t have had if there was no technology. Lets say you had a party to go to and you were suppose to pick something up from the store, but someone else already got it. All they have to do is call or text you saying they have the item from the store and it will save you time, money, and gas.

Now that, “our culture heralds the Internet as a technological wonder, there are suggestions that Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills” (Affonso 1). However, “one study suggest that online relations simply take longer to develop than those face-to-face and eventually become as rich” (Coget and Yutaka 1). Relationships online take longer to develop then ones in person, because you simply can’t interact as good. When you are around people you get a since of what they are feeling, what type of mood they are in, and what they are generally thinking about, but when you use technology it takes all that away. You also don’t have that visual contact where you can see them and they can see you, so you can never make eye contact. Now we even have what is called video chat and you can get on your computer open up a chat room and have streaming video of the other person. This could change the whole face-to-face thing, because you can see them and make eye contact, and the only thing separate the two is their computers. When you are face-to-face you can have a better friendship, but when you are online you can have more friends. It is a hard trade off, but you should make that decision yourself. Some people say that, “the main appeal of the iPod is that it preoccupies you so you are no longer obligated to interact with the uncontrollable factors of every day life” (Song 1). However, “ music deepens the experience of walking through the world, rather than distracting [you] from it”(Harris 1). The iPod can deepen your experience by being able to manipulate your feelings depending on the type of music you are listening to. The, “new technologies may be a solution to the learning of ‘subjects,’ they work against the learning of what are called ‘social values’,” however you have more time now(Postman 1). Now that you don’t have to go to school where you can’t talk or socialize, you have plenty of time to talk and socialize outside of school.

Technology has been an amplifier to help us get many more things done in one day then we would ever be able to do without it, however sometimes we use it too much. We have just recently developed advanced technology in the past hundred or two hundred years that has allowed use to flourish. This is allowing us to have over sea conversations with global powers, and discus foreign relations. The more we develop the more we have to limit ourselves, because technology is dangerous. The military has advanced weapons the Star Trek Enterprise doesn’t even have, like a microwave gun. However if we use it the right way it could help use to bring world peace. With great technology comes great responsibility, and we have to eventually limit our use or it could eventually hurt use in one way or another.

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