Technology acts as a crutch for teens

Riley Schwengel
Contributing Writer

It seems that communication through text, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and online chat has taken over our culture and become the primary mode of communication, decreasing face-to-face conversation. People seem to be interacting more via keyboard via speech. While it may be easier to send a Facebook message than to interact with someone in person, it’s dehumanizing. We are social beings, meant to share information and emotions through tone, hand gestures and facial expressions. Instead, we are limiting our correspondences to messages flying through the air and landing on someone’s computer screen or phone.

Yet, it is important to note that the technology we have provides wonderful tools that have made things we never dreamt of possible. We can now reach loved ones and friends that live thousands of miles away with a simple click and can share pictures, videos and audio with them. The problem is not the technology, but instead, how we use it. These tools are meant to enrich relationships, be they familial, friendly or romantic, but are horrible for creating these bonds. True friendships and romances are based around shared experiences and personable encounters, two things that cannot be duplicated on the Internet.

We have been using such resources as a crutch, instead of the pillows they were meant to be, because they’re easier. Take the example of asking someone out on a date. You have to walk up to them, with a big ball of anxiousness building up in your stomach, and then look them in the eye and blurt out the question, all the while wondering how they are going to react.

It’s miserable, and it’s a huge load off one’s mind to simply send a message across some sort of medium asking the same question. However, the personal encounter is so much more memorable than a simple text message. If you go up to someone and ask them out, it’s a unforgettable experience for them and they are probably going to respond positively to it. A message, on the other hand, is easily dismissed as unimportant and probably will be deleted by the receiver. Although media is more convenient, verbal contact is much more rewarding.

With all the technology available to us, we have increased the number of acquaintances we have, but decreased the number of meaningful relationships. We need to stop relying on instant messages and chat rooms to talk with people. There is no alternative to meeting them in person and sharing experiences with them. We need to start communicating like humans again and not like machines shooting text and information into the world and hoping someone reads it.

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