Today, whenever we are in a public place such as a bus stop, a metro or a café we can notice many people preoccupied using various devices such as tablets, smart phones or laptops to browse the Internet. All of these people are regularly connected with others by means of the contemporary technologies; all of them constantly stay in touch with colleagues, clients, friends and relatives. This is a great demonstration of high accessibility and availability of communication these days. Yet, one of the main social concerns of our times is the significant reduction or absence of personal communication and its outcomes. Modern technologies certainly make communication easier, but they do it at the expense of face-to-face contact, which creates different negative impacts on the contemporary society.
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The Internet and all of the devices helping us to stay connected were designed to bring people closer, increase the time and quality of communication, but instead, all of these means are making people gradually grow apart and lose the capacity of forming meaningful and close personal relationships (Haytham, par. 4). Modern technologies make family members become distant, due to digital communication people no longer feel the need to speak with each other in reality. Family meals and gatherings are becoming rarer.
Of course, there are some positive sides and influences of the digital communication. First of all, it erases the boarders and breaks the geographical limits, so we can connect with people that are far away. This serves to maintain relationships and friendships between people that used to spend a lot of time together, but had to move apart. Besides, the Internet provides wide range of opportunities for romance and dating, people have bigger chances of finding their second halves online. Finally, digital connection provides people with chances to obtain education attending online courses and e-schools (Harankhedar, par. 7).
At the same time, digital communication is an ultimate distraction. Hundreds of thousands of people become injured or killed because of texting and driving (Kazmeyer, par. 2). Of course, driving is not the only activity the Internet can distract people from. Thousands of people have negative results and performance at school or at work due to their constant desire to browse the net, talk to friends, check the latest news and messages. Besides, online communication dehumanizes people. The Internet provides its users with anonymity, so they can hide behind nicknames and practice all kinds of behavior without being punished for that. As a result, the rates of hostility and aggression in chat rooms are very high. “Trolling” is one of the most popular occupations of the internet bullies. Social networks today replace actual friendships. The time that people would normally spend in companies of others is now spent at home in front of the computers. This tendency creates a serious social isolation for most members of our society. People that spend the longest time using social networks normally report feeling lonely and misunderstood. The pleasures of face-to-face communication, team games, walks and gathering with a group of friends are now reduced to liking and sharing funny pictures online or instant messaging smiley faces and stickers to each other.
Digital communication is a great blessing, and certainly carries plenty of opportunities and positive influences, but it is important to regulate our use of this kind of communication, because this blessing can easily turn into a curse making us isolated, lonely, aggressive and distracted.
Harankhedar, Hemanqi. Impact of Technology on Communication. 7 Jun. 2011. Web.
Haytham, John. The Influence of Modern Technology on Society: Good or Bad? 26 Feb. 2013. Web.
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Kazmeyer, Milton. Negative Effects of Technology on Communication. 2014. Web.