Remember flip phones? I used to lust over those pink Razers that everyone had in middle school. Or what about Blackberrys? Yikes, talk about a throwback.
The digital age has commenced and technology is officially taking over. iPhones and Androids run our daily lives. The functionality of these devices have changed tremendously over the years; at the touch of a button people can gain access to everything from an alarm clock to the weather, in one location. How ingenious is that?
If it weren't for technology, you wouldn't be able to read this article on a computer, tablet, or smartphone right now. Likewise, you wouldn't be able to communicate with faraway friends or family in a timely fashion. With a few keystrokes, we are able to contact almost anyone in the entire world.
Sure, technology was made to make life easier, faster, and smarter, but have our social skills been compromised since this digital age came upon us? How does this new technology affect the relationships of those around us?
Human interactions have become limited and constrained. Mobile technology has the tendency to isolate users from their physical environment and excessive use of these gadgets can cause relationships and family units to disconnect.
Those are the days of spending quality time with friends at the mall or basketball court. The only things we are sharing are memes, retweets, and an hourly update on what we are feeling, eating, or doing. Dating has turned into swiping right. Soulmates are not found by fate and love isn't perpetual because of chivalry. It's strategically calculated and fixed through online questionnaires and profiles. We even find a way to avoid people on every platform by ghosting them.
The conventional face to face conversations have been replaced by social media and texting. Human relationships are seen as messy and demanding. With real time conversations, people have to respond immediately. A person doesn’t have to wait all day to get a response from someone else. Nonverbal cues are raw, whereas they are nonexistent over texting. The context in which one speaks, can only be heard through the tones and inflections in their voice. Smartphones have emoji capabilities where you can send a laughing or crying or angry face, and you can send abbreviations like LOL or OMG.
To many, particularly in the older generations, this new trend is impersonal. The "I would rather text than talk" mentality is making people incapable of carrying conversations with one another. We have even become so oblivious to our acquired addiction that we nonchalantly walk across a busy street with our nose glued to our phones instead of looking both ways. More so, many devoted smartphone users check their electronic devices several times a day, even without receiving an external alert.
In moderation, there isn’t anything wrong with being plugged in as long as we are able to form and maintain real life relationships. The world is still evolving and the use of these tools are becoming more prevalent in everyday life, constituting that these revolutionary inventions are simply unavoidable and we should just embrace them for what they are.