Too Much Technology Creates Communication Problems
Posted by srherbert
According to Bernadette Longo, everyone has a voice, but we do not hear some voices in the digital world. So who determines which voices we hear? I thought this was a great conversation starter. I consider the World Wide Web a place where anyone can say anything, although we do not always hear the people with the best voices, but instead the people with the most popular voices. In our culture, people expect to be able to say whatever they would like freely. People promote the ideas they like the most, which is why we hear the most popular voices. Thus far, I have used the term “voice” to represent a person’s digital thoughts, opinions, and ideas. However, perhaps a little ironic, I think our ability to use our “voice” to communicate with another digital has led to the decline in our ability to communicate with each other in the physical world. I believe that too much technology has created a community of people who feel comfortable enough to hide behind their computers and use their voices, but uncomfortable or intimidated in real communication settings. Is technology creating social barriers or social connections?
Dating. Over the past 10 years, the stigma of online dating has worn off as people are warming up to the concept. But has starting an online dating profile affected our ability to communicate with one another? Perhaps. Online dating may hinder our ability to notice social cues and judge someone’s body language. Quoted in a CNN article, Blake Eastman, a body language expert said, “People have an easier time picking out an emoticon to display the emotion they are feeling rather than actually showing it on their face” (Strickland, 2013). Also quoted in the same article, dating coach Adam LaDolce says that people are fearful of rejection and, as a result, look to hide behind the computer screen instead of seeking organic relationships. In my opinion, online dating can be useful for people who may having trouble meeting a mate in their daily life, but I am definitely a proponent for emerging from a hermit crab shell, venturing out in public, and striking up a conversation with a real person. I think so much of communication, body language for instance, happens when we are with another person, and that aspect of communication is impossible to achieve through online dating.
Job Recruiting. Qualman mentions the increase in online job recruiting. Previously, employers paid big bucks to a “middleman,” such as a headhunter or agency, to seek out potential employees. However, online job recruiting has eliminated the need to hire or pay for such services. Now, websites such as a LinkedIn, enable employers and employees to directly contact one another. Unlike Facebook or a similar social network, LinkedIn is strictly professional and allows users to post resume-like information on their profiles. Users can also directly look at job postings and reach the hiring contact with the company. LinkedIn can be a great tool for all parties. However, does online job recruiting affect real life communication? I think it can have an impact. Before, professional social networking websites became popular, people contacted potential employers through written and verbal communication. Today, people still do. However, I think literacy skills as a whole are declining, and now the quality of the information people transmit to potential employers had decreased. Especially if people are using sites like LinkedIn as their sole form of communication. Furthermore, the quantity of information has decreased. As mentioned in a previous week’s readings, people now seek speedy, truncated answers and do not spend time writing well-developed, quality responses.
Although I think human-machine relationships deteriorate human communication skills, I do not think they are entirely bad. I believe that online communication can greatly affect our ability to communicate in person. If we constantly meet people online, we will eventually lose our ability to interact in person and social skills will become nonexistent. People need to use their “voices” to help, not hinder, their personal relationships with one another so that they do not ruin their real “voices.”
Strickland, A. (2013, Feb 12). The lost art of offline dating. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/12/living/lost-art-offline-dating/
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