Technology has definitely changed our lives. It makes things easier and simpler, and it gives us the chance to be more efficient. It has changed our habits, the way we work, the way we shop, even the way we date. Technology also changed how we communicate, and we can all agree that it makes communication a lot easier. But, does technology makes communication better? Not necessarily. We use smartphones, tablets, and computers to stay in touch with our friends, family, and coworkers no matter where they live and that’s a great thing. What about face to face conversations? Do we REALLY talk to each other or we are distracted by technology?
Easier doesn’t always mean better
Yes, we can do so many things today a lot simpler than we used to. In terms of communication, we don’t have to wait to come home and call the person we want, and we don’t have to worry will we stay in touch with new friends we met on a vacation. Now we can rely on our smartphones, knowing that we are a few clicks away from each other. We have WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messanger, Skype, just to name a few. The tools we are using today to communicate to each other are more about speed and efficiency – it is all simple and easy, you write a message and click Send. We get tons of emails and messages every day, and replying in depth can be time-consuming. So, instead of writing a proper message making sure the other person fully understands what we want to say, we write a short message – because it’s faster, and we often do that mechanically. This can lead to misunderstandings. The point is that even if we can send messages in a simple way, it doesn’t mean the communication will be easier.
There is no need to point out how great Facebook is. It allows us to stay in touch with people we grew up with, our friends from school and college, and people we recently met. Facebook giving us the chance to stay connected. We exchange a few messages, click like every now and then. When Facebook reminds the user that one of the people from a friend list is celebrating a birthday, it gives the option to post on a wall or send a message to say happy birthday. And the user will most likely do just that, even though he or she has a phone number of the person that is celebrating. But there is another option, and even though Facebook is not giving that option, it still exists. Pick up the phone and say happy birthday. But hey, the first option is easier, right?
Face to face, or face to phone?
What happened to good old face to face conversations? Obviously a lot. Back in the days, we were talking to each other. Now face to face seems more like face to phone. When you sit in a coffee shop, take a look around. You will see it too. A few friends are sitting together, and instead of hearing them talk and laugh, you’ll notice they are staring at their phones. I bet you find yourself in the same situation. You want to tell a story to your friends, but they are looking at the phone, not hearing a word you are saying. I bet you were that friend several times as well. All this shows that even though technology makes communication easier, it doesn’t make it better. We don’t pay attention and we talk less to each other.
We are addicted – we need balance
Technology has brought so many great things and it is beneficial for all of us. That’s something we can’t deny. We can shop online, order food when we don’t feel like cooking, and we can finish the tasks we have a lot easier. Technology created many new jobs, and we have the opportunity to work from home or have a side job to earn some extra money. But we can’t deny that technology is addictive. And yes, we are addicted. In the past when so-called brick-phones dominated the market, they were used only for calls and text messages, which was not too distracting. Nowadays it is a lot different. Smartphones come with tons of options, there are millions of apps, and of course, the Internet.
When we are spending time with family and friends and when we see a notification on a smartphone it is hard to ignore it. Instead of paying attention to the conversation we are having, we just take the phone. We are distracted by smartphones and technology in general. But we can’t blame technology. We should not blame ourselves. What we need to do is find some balance, that’s all. Yes, technology is addictive, but our focus shouldn’t be on phones or computers, but on people, and face-to-face conversations. It is that simple.