The Power of Technology

Yesterday evening we had some lovely family friends come over whom I haven’t seen since…God knows when. Among food and wine blossomed the conversation that seems to come up in every get together with people above the age of forty-five: technology.

Talk of cellular devices in the hands of younglings (which I full-heartedly disagree with) and talk of how body language is no longer understood.

It is interesting that this generation will struggle so much with creating face-to-face conversations because of the growth of technology.

Like everything, technology has it’s pros and cons.

My sister, in her fourth year at Carleton University studying Linguistics, explained how one of her Professors uses Apple’s iPad to help children in her speech therapy classes because it is simple to swipe colourful and bright images that capture one’s eye.

Technology has also helped us learn knew things about the body, about curing illnesses and even what could be hundreds of light years away in space.

The advancement of technology is a really beautiful thing that I am thankful for. However it has been played with and abused by so many people world wide – which I must say I am guilty for as well.

A couple weeks ago I was sitting on the subway heading downtown when I saw a family across from me. The little girl and boy both had their own iPod Touches to play games on while the Mother and Father scrolled through their own personal cellphones. They were silent and “content”.

Honestly, I was disgusted.

Where has the art of conversation gone?

You hand your children cellphones to keep them quiet so you don’t have to deal with them screaming?

Teach them some freaking discipline for goodness sake.

The massive rise of mental illness is being questioned and I force it all onto technology.

Cyber bullying is huge. People hide behind their computers and cellphones, typing out awful words to bring down someone else that they wouldn’t dare say face-to-face. This generation is cowardly and pathetic.

Not to mention the whole breaking up with someone via text message which I won’t even begin to talk about because I could go on for days about how upsetting it is that we profess our love through Twitter and text messages and photos of couples kissing on Facebook.

Facebook is used to make other people jealous of a seemingly fantastic life one is living. When in reality everyone is sitting with their laptops “creeping” other people and only growing more envious of how many “likes” someone has per photo.

It’s brutal. It’s nauseating. We are ALL guilty.

Back to my main point of how the use of instant messaging is ruining this generation’s ability to create conversation…

When you talk to someone you look into their eyes, it is THERE that you see what emotion they’re portraying with what they are trying to say.

Body language is huge, absolutely HUGE.

I cannot express how important it is to understand a person’s body language, it says it all. I feel bad for the children of this generation when they go for their first job interview and don’t know how to act professionally or keep up a conversation on a first date.

Just kidding, I don’t feel bad whatsoever because it’s just pathetic.

We receive a text saying, “Hey.”

Or, we receive a text saying, “Hey!”

That subtle difference of a freaking exclamation mark makes the person seem happier to talk to you – you get a warmer vibe…from a freaking text message.

I just slammed that ending period down so hard on that sentence that’s how strongly I feel about this.

I once knew a guy who put the winking face after everything he said,

“Hey ;)”

“Not much, how about you? ;)”

“Ya, I like pizza a lot ;)”

*Facepalm*

Not to mention the worst of all being how many times a person has to check their phone while in conversation. That irks me the most.

Seriously? You can’t leave your phone alone for two minutes to talk to me?

You probably don’t even have a text!

This generation is failing to understand that you cannot hide behind a computer or phone screen forever, that one day you’re going to have to wake up and face the person you just called a “slut” over Facebook chat.

And I bet you dollars to donuts that that criminal will act as though nothing happened because they don’t know how to deal with it in a realistic situation.

No wonder so many kids had problems with presentations in front of the class.

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