Technology today has brought about a revolutionary transformation in the way we humans communicate with each other. Lets examine the impacts and implications.
As we progress through the information age, various technological devices such as the television, handphones, and personal computers have come and established themselves in our everyday lives. Technology has definitely influenced interpersonal communication in many ways, both in a positive as well as in a negative manner.
First lets discuss the impact television has had on interpersonal communication. Relaxing in front of the television has traditionally been a favourite pastime of the masses. However, instead of controlling, we have instead allowed the television to gain control of our lives.
Television has become a convenient substitute for family time. This is the time where families would have spent quality time together, socialising and talking. However, this has been replaced by television programs which engage one or more of the family members thus reducing the social interaction between them. Today, it is common for people to plan activities around television programs.
This has reduced the communication between parents and their children due to the lack of quality time spend together. The bond is weakened as compared with previous generations and this has a profound impact on society as a whole.
As popular as television has been in our lives, it is rapidly becoming obsolete and being replaced by computers and surfing on the internet. According to government figures from the Office of National Statistics in the United Kingdom, on average, adults in Britain spend just 37.5 days a year watching television and spend more time online at their computers – 41.5 days a year.
With the invention of internet, the world has effectively become a global village. People from two corners of the world are now able to easily converse with each other quickly and easily through the means of cyberspace. Email has established itself as a fast, free and convenient method to send messages, replacing traditional mail in the process. The internet has indeed made it easy and convenient for people to keep in touch with one another.
This ease of communication has many profound effects. In the business world, deals can be made through emails and video conferencing, and mobile phone technology has made it possible for people to check and send messages on the go, allowing us to be connected 24-7.
The internet has also affected the way how couples are formed. Couples are now commonly paired through dating websites using computer matchups. Chat rooms have become a common form of interaction between people as well, replacing a face-to-face meet up.
The internet has indeed changed the way people socialise. Although this has broadened the social circle of many people somewhat, couples are unable to meet face to face and this has many implications. Each individual has only the information which the other person decides to release. This may cause both parties to have unrealistic expectations about each other.
In the office, despite all the advantages offered by technology as mentioned earlier, there are many negative implications to be considered as well. Simple messages which used to be delivered face-to-face are now being sent through the cold impersonal means of email. This has effectively reduced socialisation within the office, thus contributing to the weakening of bonds within the workplace.
In addition, emails and video conferences, as convenient as they may be, just cannot entirely replace the feeling and warmth of a person’s handshake or presence. Deals may be negotiated through emails, but many businessmen today still want to view their business partners face-to-face in order to size their potential partners up before committing to any deals.
In conclusion, technology has indeed made tremendous impact to society as well as to our interpersonal communication. The ease of communication may have been improved but our lives have become more impersonal as a result. We are now more connected in today’s globalised world, but are ironically more isolated from our friends and family as a result of the new technologies from the information age.