Marie-Lee G. Panganiban
August 11, 2014
“The Illusory Effects of Technology”
In our modernized world today, technological devices are a necessity, as it connects us to people around the world, the events happening everywhere and most of all, it fills up the gap between us and our loved ones who are far away from us. So, how could this possibly make us feel more alone? People created technological devices such as cellphones, computers, laptops, cameras, iPads and many more so that we could stay connected. But, is this really happening? Do we really feel connected with the people around us? Can we still build strong and rich relationships with people? Based on what is happening now, people become more uncomfortable talking to someone face-to-face. According to Melnick 2011, instead of having the presence of each other, people prefer to talk online and send text messages because they can control how long it takes for them to respond, leaving out the awkwardness of the sudden silence people make during face-to-face conversations. People are continuously reducing the importance and quality of real conversations as they are more comfortable talking and facing a computer screen instead of looking into someone’s eyes. The use of technology, social networking and social media sites is just an illusion that makes us feel more loved and known to the world, but the truth is that it only makes us feel lonelier because we do not spend real face-to-face conversations with the people who are around us.
So, why does it makes us feel more alone? First of all, it does not really build real and strong relationships. We get a different view of people if we only meet them online instead of meeting them personally. For instance, if we meet people online, we get so comfortable talking to them in that manner. But when we finally get to see them in person, we often get disappointed and feel uncomfortable because we are not used to talking to them face-to-face. But isn’t that the beauty of having a relationship with someone? One of the most valuable things in a relationship is each other’s presence. When someone we love is far away from us, we have technological devices that can connect us to the person even if he/she is at the other side of the world. Some people spend most of their time video chatting with them so that they could somehow feel their presence. But even if they spend the whole day chatting, there will always be something missing with their whole conversation, as they were only there for each other emotionally, but not physically. This is the advantage of people who meet personally. The presence of each other is the key to a healthy relationship with friends and family as we comfort them not only emotionally but also physically.
Second, the disadvantage of depending on technological devices all the time is the fact that it shuts us out from the people around us. According to Klein 2014, people spend about 100-200 minutes per day using the internet and 30-90 minutes per day using social networks. Much more when it comes to teenagers and children who get too addicted using their gadgets by playing and talking to hundreds of their online friends. But even though they have hundreds of friends online, they still say that they feel so alone. This is because they spend so much time with these devices that they tend to shut out the people who are willing to give them company. Thus, if they only knew how to balance their time, then they would not feel so abandoned and alone. Balancing our time will make us feel more productive and alive, compared to people who use gadgets all day long, who are totally escaping the real world.
And lastly, technology reduces the importance and quality of face-to-face conversations. These devices were made for us to converse with people by sharing our thoughts, emotions and ideas, but people use them in the wrong way. As stated by Nilles 2012 from The Bottom Line, social networking sites are slowly...
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