In the past people used technology as a tool for making survival an easier endeavor. Nowadays we are witnessing a shift in the role technology is playing in our society and may continue to play for generations to come. In the modern-day world technology is no longer a tool for survival but it turned to a means of communication and entertainment. Mass communication technology has made it easier than ever to connect with people. At the same time this raises the concern of whether technology has a good or bad influence on our society, is the use of technology destroying face-to-face interaction and communication between people?
Whenever you’re in a coffee shop, standing at a bus stop or taking the tube you can easily see how people are connected to each other using different sorts of electronic devices. The primary concern regarding this new communication behavior is whether it made face-to-face interaction and communication between people nonexistent. This is true in many aspects as this may lead to living in a virtual world that only includes interacting with people with texting and social networks. This leads, among other things, to the ability for people to be lonely, as having too many virtual friendships causes the inability to establish meaningful relationships. The young generations in our society are participating in a massive, unintentional social experiment the results of which are not entirely predictable.
This scene from the American show The Big Bang Theory illustrates “living in virtual world” concept:
The lack of communication affects also relationships inside one family. It is quite common in today’s society for a family to eat dinner completely separate from each – almost purposely avoiding face-to-face communications. On the other hand there might be an explanation for this phenomenon; husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends no longer go entire days without speaking to each other on the phone, emailing each other, facebooking each other or texting each other.
The paradox of the mass communication technology is that we are growing more distant from each other when we choose to make smartphones, computers, television, and the like our primary means of communicating with each other. Technology is a wonderful tool that is supposed to help humans improve their life quality but instead of that it is preventing us from continuing to be able to form meaningful relationships with each other. It is true that the long-term social effects of modern communication are still to be seen but it doesn’t seem, at least for now, like they are more beneficial than detrimental to society.