I am aware of a time when text messaging was non-existent and the internet was only something scientist and government officials had access to. These were the same times when people had to write letters to express their thoughts, visit one another to show they care, and call someone to engage in dialogue. Can you imagine people would actually get in their car and drive to visit each other?
I will be the first to admit that I do have an appreciation for being able to text someone if I am running late, email several individuals at once to convey one message, and getting quick updates on how my friends are doing via social networking sites. However, I do wonder what impact all this technology is having on our ability to appropriately communicate with one another. Especially considering that the majority of our communication is non-verbal. What impact is it having on our social skills and ability to feel more deeply connected to others. It is kind of interesting to think of someone who could have hundreds of social networking relationships and still feel lonely. But it happens.
Think about it, if someone wants to avoid an uncomfortable conversation; they can send an email. Never have to face the person and experience the full verbal and non-verbal dialogue. If a loved one passes away; one may be likely to get several electronic responses; but less phone calls and personal visits. If you want to contact people without being in contact with people – then you can just update your status.
There are several articles out there addressing how technology has led to social isolation. These articles have addressed how we are becoming less capable of maintaining intimate relationships due to the comforts of electronic communications. It is kind of difficult to mix and mingle at a party if you are constantly checking messages on your phone. I like to think that we can find a healthy balance between our human need for interpersonal interaction and the technological advances afforded to us. If not, I can only imagine future generations of children who become adults incapable of holding a meaningful conversation without the use of an electronic gadget or appliance.