We Don’t Talk Anymore…Are Social Media Platforms Improving Social Interactions?

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shutterstock_181440017_thumbYou see it in malls, churches, restaurants, even at home around the dinner table, everyone looking at their screens. It’s less talk and more texting, whether it’s e-mailing or browsing social networks, everyone seems to be too busy with something on their phones. We constantly feel the urge to check our phones, our emails and what’s new on social networks.

Technology has made us interconnected but the question that I want to ask is, are social media platforms & mobile telephony killing human interactions?

According to an international journal called Human Communication Research, a recent University study found that the frequency of cellphone use affects how people interact with others around them. Cellphones have become a need for many people around the world. The advantage of keeping in touch with family, companions and access to email are just a few reasons for the rapidly increasing importance of cell-phones.

Today’s cellphones are so advanced that we not only use them to make and receive calls but other uses such as storing data, communicating with people across the globe, taking pictures and videos, to name a few. Cellphones have unequivocally made communication easier but when does one draw the line to prevent cellphones from devaluing face-to-face interactions? A question that I have been pondering upon for a while.

Technology itself is not the problem but rather, how people use technology. Mobile phones can still be valuable and of much help to us without letting them control our lives. Cell-phones have changed the meaning of friendship and everyday interactions in a way that we are actually more interested in something going on somewhere else than the people we are with. Without us even realising, mobile phones have made us cold and out of touch with reality.

Cellphones are perfect for staying connected and have various other benefits such as reaching out during emergencies, to some extent, they give us a sense of security because we can get help by simply dialing an emergency number, allowing help to reach us quickly. We also don’t have to worry about getting lost anymore thanks to GPS-enabled cell-phones. The issue is that we don’t know when to draw the line because of our over-dependency on cellphones.

It is okay to use cellphones, but the disturbing part is how wrapped up in technology we’ve become that we’d rather be on our phones than spend quality time with those we love.

Another disturbing factor is how lazy we’ve become to even write properly because of the language that social networks have taught us. We prefer shortening words, half sentences to properly structured, full sentences. This is troubling, specifically for the youth, as good communication skills are important in all careers. There are so many resources, made possible by technology, available to make us the best communicators for example, online dictionaries.

My point is, let’s use technology positively and not allow it to change who we are. There is nothing abnormal about putting your phone away for a while just to talk to your family, your peers and others around you. I do not believe that real-life interactions have become “old fashioned”, we just need to limit ourselves when it comes to using our cell-phones. It’s okay to use your voice instead of fingers, it’s okay to talk to each other.

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