Is Technology Destroying Human Social Life?
May 29, 2012 2 Comments
Yesterday I was talking on the phone with a friend, and I said to him, ” Can we just text, I don’t feel like talking on the phone.”
After saying this, I realized how rude it was, but more importantly I realized how damaging it was to the friendship as a whole.
There is no possible way that we can truly learn about each other if we are not communicating in real life.
I believe that the option to text someone has become the number one source of communication because we get to edit and retouch what we say. With the advancements of social networking, we can edit and retouch WHO WE ARE. Think about it.
A magnificent aspect of being a human is that we can all show emotion through our voices, gestures and language. If we are not hearing each other speak, or seeing each other in person, we are not truly understanding one another. The time people are together in person, they spend it staring at their phones anyway. They do not want to be interrupted, and real conversation is cut down to one word answers.
All of these social devices that seem to do so much for a person are actually not doing much at all. People are becoming more lazy, they are relying strictly on their phone, and, most importantly, they are forgetting how to communicate in real-time.
A great thinker, Sherry Turkle, describes this as being “alone together” or “Connected, but alone.”
In a very deep speech she made during a TED meeting, she explained that people are hiding from each other while constantly connected to each other (Through texting, social networking etc.)
She makes a great point when she says,
“Technology appeals to us most when we are most vulnerable. When we are lonely and afraid of intimacy. It gives us an illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We can put attention wherever we want, we can always be heard, and we never have to be alone.”
When the iPhone 4S was released, I knew that this would cause even more damage to our social lives.
I’m sure everyone knows what Siri is and what it is capable of doing. To briefly explain it, Siri (Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface)is a personal assistant which works as an application for Apples iOS. The application answers questions, make recommendations, and perform actions.
Siri can become someones best friend. Commercials are portraying celebrities ALONE in their house talking to Siri as if it was their spouse or best friend. In my opinion, this is not healthy at all.
Should we just dispense with people all together and only have these fake digital friendships with each other, or with a machine?
I am not telling people to get rid of their devices or downgrade their technology, but what I am saying is try to have real life relationships. Try to cut texting time and talk in person more. Learn more about people and how they feel and think.
Let’s not be “alone together.”
The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.” – Sherry Turkle