Technology allows for amazing things. With it we are able to communicate with people from other towns and continents. Phones have evolved into tools that allow us to express ourselves through text messages and through social media we can reach millions of people. The messages we want to share are no longer restrained by the miles we can’t travel.
However, technology can also stunt communication. It’s easy to speak your mind behind a screen, but when it comes to orally voicing their thoughts, people are struggling.
I first noticed this issue when someone I grew up with failed to have a proper conversation with me. We were neighbors, but we used to call each other cousins. When I moved away, we stayed in touch through text and Facebook. Later, we ran into each other at a family gathering and he couldn’t look me in the eye. The only words he uttered were “hello” and “goodbye.” He lacked the ability to speak to me in person, but the next day he texted me and managed to have a full conversation with me.
Our dependence on technology is stripping us from human interaction. We are having full conversations through a screen and then choking up and stuttering in person. We are activists on social media, but reserved in our everyday exchanges.
This might seem like an insignificant matter because people are still communicating, but words on a screen can never hold the same power as spoken word.
Technology has granted us a new platform to share our thoughts. However, it has also led to the end of face-to-face conversations. A text lacks the level of tone, attitude and emotions that can be conveyed in a face-to-face conversation. Also, these three elements are crucial for an impactful argument.
Conversations are important on a social level, but also important on an individual level. We need honest and full conversations to create relationships. Your waitress is now a tablet, your bank teller is an ATM and your cashier is a computer. We have already given our professional positions to computers, let’s not give technology our entire ability to communicate and build relationships. As society grows more dependent on technology, we could lose human interaction all together.
So, turn off your phone, look your friend in the eye and talk. It’s not as scary as it seems. You might actually learn something new about one another.