Most of the technological advancements are acknowledged by individuals through electronic devices, such as smartphones, personal computers, and tablets. They have an enormous impact on the quality of their lives, but also on how people communicate. But do electronic devices make life easier and give people more access to information, or do they have a negative effect on the way individuals communicate with each other at a personal level?
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There are more than a few arguments for each side. More than ever, these devices alter an individual’s life in many ways and create a shift in the way people use technology through their routine. A large amount of information is just a click away through apps like YouTube, Maps, Google Search, or e-books. People can share instantly personal information with thousands of others and have constant access to entertainment or media. There are people, such as Nancy Baym (a researcher at Microsoft Research), who feel that “the evidence consistently shows that the more you communicate with people using devices, the more likely you are to communicate with those people face to face” (Adler, 2013).
On the negative side, a dramatic increase in technological use is noticed in younger generations. In a study of the Kaiser Family Foundation from 2010, information gathered suggests that “eight- to eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping—an average of more than 7½ hours a day” (Rideout, Foehr & Roberts). Other studies showed that children’s cognitive and emotional development can be negatively altered by electronic device addiction (Przybylski & Weinstein).
Electronic devices continue to become important parts of people’s lifestyle. As this happens, the way individuals interact with them is subject to change if they see them as merely tools for an easier life and raise awareness of how precious the human connection is to their lives.
Adler, I. (2013, January 17). “How our digital devices are affecting our personal relationships.” WBUR. Retrieved May 3, 2020, from http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/17/digital-lives-i.
Przybylski, Andrew K., and Netta Weinstein. “Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality.” SAGE Journals. Retrieved May 3, 2020, from journals.sagepub.com.
Rideout, J. Vicotria, Foehr, G. Ulla, Roberts, F. Donald. (2010). “Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18-year-olds.” European Journal of Educational Research, vol. 9, no. 2. Retrieved Retrieved May 3, 2020, from http://www.eu-Jer.com/EU-JER_9_2_743.pdf.
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