Technology taking over our social interactions

By Jacqueline Cromleigh | Assistant Opinion Editor

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I love talking.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite pastimes, but now it is outdated.

In a time of unlimited texting and social networking, it seems the only way people actually communicate is through technology.

This bothers me.

Our society has become way too dependent on technology, losing something they cannot seem to find—their verbal communication skills.

What happened to the days of one-on-one conversations?  Have we lost all our sense of personal connection in the world?

I feel as if this might be true, but not only are we losing personal connection, some have taken technology to a new level of rudeness.  The people who text you back after you call and those who refuse to wave to you in person are crossing the line.

Technology was never meant to be used as the only means of communication.

If we lose our personal connections with people, what will we have left?

A single relationship with our computer screen is beyond disturbing.

I have never been more frustrated.

These technologies are affecting the way people approach daily life.

Facebook has become their lair and Twitter their girlfriend, leaving the rest of the world behind.

According to procon.org, “The hours per day of face-to-face socializing have declined as the use of social media has increased.”

This has been taken way too far, especially when it is affecting the way you interact with people.

Last year, this was brought to my attention even more.

During a meeting, I watched a public relations professional on all her technology at once while meeting with a client.

After using her Blackberry and laptop while talking to her older client, he responded with understandable frustration.

Her response to him was what made me mad.  She stated that it was just a generation gap.  That is why she was multi-tasking, instead of focusing on the important member of her conversation.

Not only is this disrespectful, but it is false.

Our generation does not have to be like this.  We do not need to carry on five conversations, instead focusing on one.

How do you think that client would have felt if he was listened to without distraction?

Not only does this increase in technology create rudeness, it also diminishes our writing skills.

Though some linguists are not sure of the effect texting has on people, many  believe that the short phrasing in texting is harming society.

Dorlea Rikard, a language teacher at Florence High School said that texting is become a problem.  In an article on timesdaily.com. “I’ve realized they very often write the way they speak and they speak the way they text,” Rikard said about her students. “And yes, I’ve had a few students turn in papers with numbers instead of words and letters used inappropriately.

“It’s definitely the texting influence,” Rikard said.

Though not all people abbreviate in text messages, the ones who do are causing problems for themselves.

By losing their formal writing ability, they are losing a means to communication; one we cannot afford to be without.

I fear that it will only get worse.

If kids are like this now, what will our children be like down the road?

Will they be able to write a complete sentence without a spelling and grammar check?

It is a scary thought.

This increase in technology, though enjoyable, should not take over our lives or our communication skills.

Though we all love to be on Facebook and send texts, it does not mean we should have total disregard for others, and that is what I feel like this is doing.

This technology is supposed to be an aid to help us communicate faster and better. If we leave out personal communication we may never truly be real human beings.

According to procon.org, “Social networking sites entice people to spend more time online and less time interacting face-to-face. The sites offer many time wasting activities that supplant more productive activities. Teens spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking sites.”

We need to realize that a conversation with a computer will never get us anywhere.  It is personal communication skills that we need.

Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I miss the days where a friendly hello in person was better than a mass text.

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