The Big Debate: Technology – The New Social Form of Communication

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FOR

Living in a world dominated by fast progressing technology it’s difficult to ignore the impact it has on our everyday lives. Use of technology such as phones, laptops and tablets have become integrated into our home and working lives, but what impact has it had on our social interaction?

It is unquestionable that the use of technology allows us to communicate with friends, family and work colleagues easily. We no longer have to wait for days to receive a much awaited message, which used to be in the form of a handwritten letter- now a rarity. Regardless of where people live globally, a message can be received the same minute it was sent. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also make it possible to send images too and just as quickly.

Visual sites such as the ones mentioned, as well as Pinterest, also help new emerging illustrators and graphic designers (as well as other specialists in the field) to begin to create a reputation for their style of work. On some occurrences job offers come through these platforms.

Skype is another useful piece of software, where people can communicate face to face and has increasingly been used for interviews during the job application process; not forgetting, of course, that this programme is also free. Communicating with someone from a different part of the world (dependant on connection quality of course) at a click of a button is one of the clever parts of technology; it’s an easy way to help stay connected to people abroad- cheaper than a long distance phone call.

Some say people connect on a deeper level through ‘genuine’ face to face communication, where people are within physical presence of one another as emotions can be seen. However, the programme Catfish combats this, as people often fall in love through messaging each other using social platforms.

It is unquestionable that technology has a positive impact on people’s lives. However, there is a time and place for the use of this. In today’s society it is important that you are able to adapt to means of communicating through technology in your working and social life, as well as in the physical presence of someone.

Lauren Leftley

 

AGAINST

New ways to communicate with your friends and family are forever being generated.  Be it from Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BBM, WhatsApp, Facetime to the many other apps and sites, such as Tinder, that forever seem to be popping up.  With most people glued to their phones it is clear that we, as a human race, are becoming ever more reliant on these forms of social communication. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way slating these forms of communication, I am guilty of using many of them myself.  In fact I would even go as far to say that they have been greatly beneficial to the everyday running of our lives.  However, there are negatives to these forms of social communication and not just the obvious ones – such as the ability to misinterpret what is being said. 

Have you ever walked into a room and said something to your friends or family and got no reply?  Take a look next time this happens and you will most likely find that they are all either on their phones or laptops.  We are slowly becoming a race that cannot do anything or go anywhere without our trusty phones in our back pockets and it’s leading to us missing out on the here and now.  In reality this is quite sad, but it’s only ever going to get worse.  We are notified about everything and anything and almost all of us are guilty of putting our phones, tablets or laptops before those in our immediate surroundings. 

So will we ever change?  The answer is probably no.  We live in a society where democracy and freedom allows us to have access to all of these social networking sites.  Some countries, such as China, Iran, Australia, Morocco and Egypt have at times blocked access to or completely banned sites such as Facebook.  Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that a country should be able to have such an amount of control over your personal choices it does make me question the real point of sites such as Facebook?  Think about it, how many times have you heard the same old: “I’m so bored of Facebook,” or words to that effect?  The question is if we really feel that way about it, why are we such slaves to it?  Well, the truth is that sites such as Facebook and other communication devices are a modern addiction, and just like any other addiction we need our daily fix. 

Vignette O’Bryan

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