Technological Results | Teen Ink

Technological Results

January 14, 2010
By WillMaywald SILVER, Houston, Texas
WillMaywald SILVER, Houston, Texas
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Does technology make people less socially active? Many people believe that iPods, computers, videogames etc. give a decrease in society’s social skills. The following paragraphs are the topics talked about in today’s society about whether technology is giving an effect on society’s social skills. The truth is as we try to entertain are selves we are not entertaining others around us with the set of social skills that God has given us.
Neil Postman argues that if you work by yourself for example; taking a class online. Then you will not learn any life lessons by not being social with others. Postman explains that you cannot learn social skills while communicating online with others. Postman explains “If one reads the first chapter of Robert Fullghum’s All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten, one will find…a few things Ravitch’s scenario left out….clean up your mess, wash your hands, flush etc.,” explains Postman. (Postman 1) Postman makes it clear that he does not agree that being with technology alone trying to communicate with others will not teach you anything. Well others might disagree with that because if you look at Xbox Live you learn how to use teamwork which is something you do not learn in Kindergarten. If you are playing a video game that requires teamwork then you will learn from your mistakes and even though it’s a game it requires voice communication so the verbal social skills might come in next time that person is playing basketball.
Bob Affonso argues that trying to interact with people with technology actually makes you more depressed and lonely rather then what you would expect which would be happy and social. Online interactions with others cause loneliness and a lack of communication with the outside world. “Data showed that as people in this sample used the Internet more,” says Affonso, “reported keeping up with fewer friends,” exclaims Affonso. (Affonso 1) Affonso talks about how being online communicating can cause loneliness and misery. Look at Face book which is the worlds number one social networking website. Well some people might disagree with that. For example businessmen are so busy staying in hotels and traveling they need some sort of communications with others excluding business. Because of this ability to communicate this actually does the opposite effect by giving relief to the businessmen.
Jean-Francois Coget and Yamauchi Yutaka argue that while meeting people through the Internet may take longer then a face-to-face conversation it is still a good way of socializing. For example; meeting someone through an email may take a couple of weeks to have an actual conversation but it is faster to grow the relationship with the person by meeting someone face-to-face which would only take a couple of minutes. “…One study suggest that online relationships simply take longer to develop then those face-to-face…” says Coget and Yutaka. (Coget and Yutaka 1) Coget and Yutaka both agree that if they were to meet each other through the Internet that it would take longer for a rich relationship rather then an acquaintance face-to-face. Lets look at when people meet each other through a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook, or a blogging site because others might disagree. For example, if you have a mutual friend with someone on Facebook with another person then meeting that person might result in a private chat with a question like “Do I know you?” The person who sent the friend request may answer, “I am a friend of one of your friends, John Smith,” and then it may take around the same amount to have a conversation to get to have a rich relationship in the chat compared to having one face-to-face.
Jen Harris argues that rather then iPods bringing people apart from each other they bring them together. Harris uses Playlist that brings people together in London for one of her main reasons to support her arguments. Harris exclaims “...Playlist hosts iPod DJ nights at a London bar….everyone is invited to compile a 15 minute setlists on theirs iPods,” says Harris. (Harris 1) Harris thinks that iPods bring together. Others might disagree. If you were to ask someone if you could borrow there phone they might not here you or tell you sorry I wasn’t listening, I was listening to my iPod. Most people would be taken offense to this. While listening to an iPod, the classic impression given off from that person is being in a state of isolation.
Krystle Song argues that iPods make people less social and give off the impression of to not bother them. Song agrees that more personal space is required while listening to an iPod. “As a result of their amazing transportability iPods make it incredibly easy for people to bring their personal spheres into the public space,” says Song. Song thinks that iPods takes people away from having an acquaintance or a conversation. Others might disagree because if you look at the number of people who listen to ones iPod together is pretty great. Whether they are a couple of schoolgirls in a hallway with one earphone in each of they’re ears. Or if a couple of guys listen to Kid Rock while driving from one city to another in a pickup truck. Another example could be the invitation to Playlist in London.
So does technology make people less socially active? As I write this paper I know the answer to this enigma because I myself have only talked to the person I bought lunch from today while listening to my iPod while I have wrote this paper. There really can be no communication while your ears are being entertained by music that is synced with your mood. If America does not worry about this current event then we will become the title of Krystle Song’s article Attack of the iZombies.

The author's comments:
This was for my school final on how technology effects society's social skills.

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