It goes without saying that society has been improved exponentially with the advancement of technology. We use technology every day and to do just about everything.
We rely on the advancement of technology for our ability to travel, communicate, learn, improve our business, and to live in comfort. With all of this, is it possible that technology has a dark and evil side, as well? Is it all roses when it comes to having the ability to have it all, or is it a one-sided sword that allows us the ability to travel faster but then turns around and destroys our environment with pollutants?
Are we truly communicating more efficiently or are we limiting our ability to communicate in some way? It’s impossible to explore all of the ways in which technology has impacted our lives and how it will impact the future in just one sitting. We can, however, explore how technology has impacted our ability to communicate—and discuss if this will eventually impact our children… that is if it hasn’t already.
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly….But First, the Good
Let’s look at the good as it pertains to technological advancements and how they impact our ability to communicate with one another. No longer do we rely on pay phones and landlines to reach out to one another. Now, we have the ability to connect with anyone in the world in mere seconds; which has allowed generations of people to connect with others on a global scale. This is critical because it assists in our development, understanding, and compassion for those who live in parts of the world we’ve only read about.
Additionally, we have an opportunity to utilize our new understanding of other cultures by teaching future generations about the importance of appreciating the beauty in others across the globe. Social media, emails, and having a cell phone that can do it all helps us to make the connection with others more powerful, impactful, and meaningful. In all, it seems impossible to imagine a world that once existed without these relevant technological advancements.
The Bad and the Ugly
Gone are the days of looking each other in the eyes for more than ten minutes while talking, or visiting one another without using the time to take selfies, check our text messages or email. It’s almost rare to see children playing football in the street or at the park, given the fact that most children prefer video games over human interaction.
According to NPD, an astonishing 91% of U.S. children ages 2-17 play video games (64 million) and the numbers continue to rise with each passing year. In addition to these stats, there are numerous reports that discuss how technology has hindered our ability (especially our children) to communicate effectively. Sure, we are talking through technology—but then again, are we really talking at all?
Balance is the Key to Life
Much like anything in the world, balance has to be the foundation that we sit our need for technology and our need for human interaction upon. Understanding that we can’t and won’t live without technology means that we must work harder to maintain our connection with one another as human beings.
This also means that we have to make our children put the games away for a while so that they can have real-time with their family and friends. This is most evident in teenagers who refuse to put down their cell phones when spending time, or at least are supposed to spend time, with their family. We must start with ourselves and then be the example to our children of what it really means to live person-to-person—without the need of a machine to help us do it effectively.