Technology has advanced greatly over the last decade, making us capable of much more than ever before. Our advancements have made great strides in transportation, medicine, and even communicating with one another. From the capabilities of talking to others ever so quickly across the globe, breaking down barriers, and even providing the capability to speak, more are being given the opportunity to speak and understand one another. However, with all these advancements there has been an actual decline in people communicating with each other, both at a fundamental and deeper level. From time being too valuable to spend on such interactions, to the change in how communication is done less and less in person, we are seeing how technology has both vastly improved, and impaired our abilities to communicate with another.
There’s no doubt that over the years technology has made it possible and easier for us to talk to our fellow man across the globe. For years Electronic mail, faster and stronger cellular connections, and the rise of social media and multiple chat applications have made it easier to have our voice heard and to seamlessly talk to the people both around us and on the other side of the earth. Not only that, but even more recent advancements have made it possible for us to talk to those whom do not even share a similar language allowing an easier and accurate process of deciphering languages and symbols not known to us and correctly interpreting the literal messages being sent to us. It has also improved the possibilities for the disabled through implants for the deaf and speech-generating devices to help give others a voice to be heard and the ability to communicate to others. The advent of social media over the past few years has also made it easier to rekindle past friendships and meet people whom share your interests, leading to conversations you may not have been able to conduct in otherwise. The possibilities have made it easier and simpler to talk to one another, but do these positives extend to the interpersonal communication and improve the deeper levels of them?
It’s no secret that while the opportunities to communicate have increased, there is a lack of communication taking place and the bonds that can be formed from them are suffering. Many of the opportunities that we would take, and conversations we would have in person are now being done over text or some form of messaging app, and the ability to interpret the tone and feelings of what someone says online can at times be difficult to do which can lead to misinterpretation and confusion, not being able to have a constructed conversation or alter our viewpoints and perceptions of both certain topics and people. Technology has also grown us too accustomed to immediate gratification and the loss of patience. This declining trait makes it easy for us to immediately interpret messages to our own stereotypes, while not taking the time to take in other perspectives thus narrowing our cognitive complexity. This can also lead to ourselves being more dismissive of others that coincide with our own opinions and do not share the personal constructs that we look for, which in turn makes it more difficult to communicate with others face to face. This is a fundamental skill that is very prevalent in today’s society that is slowly dwindling along with declining writing skills which has an effect on one’s vocabulary and speech mannerisms.