- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 06 November 2013
With the rise in technological use over the years, the way that we communicate has been altered. There is now a new form of communication among people, which has moved us away from face-to-face communication, and towards the new technology revolution. In addition to face-to-face communication, we are now able to speak to one another using text messages, emails and instant messaging, among many other forms of technologically advanced communication.
This new additional form of conversation can be both beneficial and detrimental to society in a number of ways. One downside is that some people have the ability to hide behind technology when communicating with others.
At one time or another, we have all done it. We have used technology to confront an issue or talk about a topic in an attempt to avoid the face-to-face awkwardness or fear.
Communication through technology creates a new form of confidence for people, allowing them to say things that they normally would never have the guts to say in person. The Outlook editors believe in many cases, this new-found confidence is not always a good thing. "If you cannot be a man, and yes this goes for women as well, and say it to my face, then don't say it at all," said one Outlook editor.
Among the issues associated with the "fake confidence" impression, there are many other negatives that are conspiring within society due to the new method of "hiding behind technology." There are benefits to face-to-face communication also, although the transfer from face-to-face has allowed people to become more and more impersonal. One editor said, "I have noticed often that when I talk to students, they cannot maintain eye contact ..."
The Outlook editors feel that this issue has come about because it is so much easier to send a text, rather than actually confronting someone in person. As a result, many people have begun to transfer all of their communication within these outlets, saving time, effort and humiliation.
Social media, one of the forms of communication within technology, has taken interest among the population. It has been proven that because this new form of communication is so much easier, accessible and effortless, people find themselves completely consumed in it. "I can't even hang out with my friends some times without them constantly texting or tweeting or checking their Instagram feed," said another Outlook editor.
Two editors said that in an attempt to eliminate this issue, they said they refuse, "to have a serious conversation where emotions are involved" through technological communication. The editors went on to explain that if a person wants to open up about something it should be done in person.
One editor said when they are confronting others or a person attempts to discuss an important manner through technology, they are unable to take the person seriously. This can also pose an issue because the matter may not get resolved.
All editors agreed on one thing, "Face-to-face communication is so much more personal and there is so much more meaning behind the words," said one editor, to which all agreed. "You can read their facial expression and the words will have a totally different context than if you're reading it on a screen."
Even though there are many negatives to the addition, we all still use it; therefore, there must be some positives. One example of a positive is that people have more time to think about their responses. They can begin a conversation or answer on their own time, without interruption.
Another positive is that there are more new outlets for people to contact one another. We are now able to speak to a relative or friend 10,000 miles away with the click of a button.
Also, we are able to communicate more often with the immediate people around us. A student that is struggling with homework now has the ability to email students from class and ask for help. Whereas before email or Facebook existed, the student would be forced to either look their name up in the white pages or wait until class the next day to ask for help.
There are many different issues that can be created due to the decreased "in-person" conversations that have transferred to the World Wide Web. There are also many benefits. What it all boils down to is how you decide to use it. Find a healthy balance and share this belief with a friend.