Looking at the past 30 years, social media and the expansion of technology have gained expansive growth; the way we communicate with each other can now take place on so many screened platforms, that we often can forget how to have a conversation face to face.
In a positive light, electronics have made communication a simple task at any distance; we can now communicate with loved ones or friends on any continent, anytime. The barriers of time and distance no longer seem to be a detrimental factor in communication with others. Not only have advances in technology made it easier for us to communicate with others, but now we have the ability to do so over a wide range of devices. Almost all of these devices support various forms of communication, such as text, voice, and video. Telephone technology is no longer a primary means of communicating, and this has made way for other electronics to make communication mobile, fast, and direct. This quick access to fast communication has boomed into, as some may say, the primary means of communication today. But, even though this may be the case, at what cost is it to ONLY communicate in this fashion?
Conversations used to flow over face-to-face contact, voices, body language, and visual/auditory stimulators that aided in all communicative fashions. Speaking with someone face to face allows direct contact in emotions, tone of voice, and feelings between both parties. It is easy to see how some of these details can be lost among screens and electronic means of communication. By learning to have face-to-face communication skills from a young age, one learns to read other’s expressions, gain social skills, and learns the appropriate ways to properly respond to situations. Yet, if one is so accustomed to only communicating by screen, these “old fashioned” ways of communication can be lost, thus diminishing the ability to gain cognitive conversation skills. In the younger generations of today, I feel that the primary means of communication is being utilized via screens; this, personally, makes me worried, as the younger generation will not have the skills to communicate in person with others. I have seen it through my own experience working with youth. Younger teenagers find it difficult to make phone calls, knock on someone’s door, or even order food at a counter. Not having the proper exposure to this type of communication style limits their connections they could be establishing with others. Also, as stated above, without this practice so to speak, they lose the ability to understand social cues.
Later on, when it comes to those very important situations that require face-to-face conversation, they will lack the ability to communicate and convey points due to lack of exposure. The fast expansion of technology is wonderful in making human highlights become something much greater that what they are in real form. When executed too much, the ability to have real thoughts and emotions becomes a void concept, which can lead to a bleak reality of lost connections and conversations. Technology needs to be utilized and understood, but just like most great things in life, it needs to be used in moderation.
– Zoey Spengler