no need for a social mask | Teen Ink

no need for a social mask

January 12, 2010
By EE36911 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
EE36911 BRONZE, Houston, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

As we thumb away on mini keyboards or screens, many are also texting away hours of time.  That dedication to the gadget takes away the hours we used to spend in face-to-face conversations. A decrease of looking in people's eyes and faces is the sacrifice for the increase in time we give toward email, texts and instant messages.  The more focus we give to technology, our social skills reduce and we become socially isolated. Technology does advance in its power over time, yet while doing so, it encourages our social detachment from our social values as we focus on the Internet and our MP3 players rather than our human connection.?
Technology is presented to "work against the learning of what are called 'social values'" (A). This creates a distraction for people making it harder for most to feel comfortable with social norms such as eye contact that become much more natural to learn when sitting near the person we're conversing with rather than staring at an electrical object.  When social norms are common and practiced, we enforce a civilized people, but when technology is introduced, the product we're left with becomes more uncivilized.  The process and function of technology makes our social connections such as spending time with our peers to become lessened and corrupt. ?
One obstacle in this argument is the reality that the difference between Internet and non-internet users has not yet been fully tested.  Thus, it seems clear enough to deduce that the Internet might not be detrimental to our social connections.  At the same time, it seems plausible that spending more time in front of an internet web site decreases the time we would have with a peer--which would make a social connection harder to achieve.?
Knowing a person when a screen stands between them prevents someone from being able to interpret body language during a conversation.  Internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills such as producing a face-to-face conversation.  When people are on the Internet they seem to have fewer connections with friends and family. It seems that "internet use has a negative influence on individuals and their social skills" (B).  Yet the positive aspects have the same ability to be proven as the negative ones. ?
Internet users claim that their use is to encounter new friends, but how can one really know another when she or he is an image or words on a screen?  The mask of the Internet is dangerous, for it is possible not to know the person we are conversing with, and even though we could be more comforted by these types of conversations.?
A person with crossed arms, hands in their pocket, a hood over their head, and white ear-bud lines hanging around their neck sends the warning of "stay away" to others. Social abilities dissolve when we add devices such as MP3 players to our lifestyle.  Music can indeed unite people, but in public it seems to push us away from the outside world.  When a person puts on a set of earphones they become socially isolated and therefore detached and unaware of their surroundings. ?
A new trend that has grown in clubs is a play list night to unite social gatherings. People in favor of these gatherings claim that the "iPod does more to unite people than it does to divide them" (D).  As the social skills appear to be progressing, they actually digress in the long run.  The reliability that people have in technology to unite them to others and help them communicate can lead to faulty assumptions that technology is bringing us closer rather than socially distant.?
Before technology had such a strong hold on our face-to-face conversations, we would concentrate on our family, friends, or school.  With the introduction of cellular and musical gadgets, the converse of the strong pre-technology communication now adds a barrier to our chemistry with each other.  Technology has gotten in the way of proper communication and our knowledge of social skills.  When these devices are introduced in our lives, we start lacking the essentials of our social values.  The long-term effect causes us to place ourselves in social isolation and appear to be away from the world. As much as technology advances and people assume it helps them in everyday life, the actual truth is that it's capable of more harm than good, therefore creating a new social mask.

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