Creating Safe-Zones from Technology

19 Apr

Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. More and more social media outlets continue to pop up, promoting constant status updates and tweets to express oneself. Younger individuals sign up for these sources and feel valued by the liberty to express themselves. Our generation of now 20-year-olds has undeniably been spoiled by the constantly changing technology. Within the past decade, cell phones began to include mobile applications for Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. The appeal of having everything at our fingertips might be too much too soon. Do we have boundaries when it comes to technology?

The Increasing Power of Technology

The world of easy access becomes checking emails during breaks or Facebook updates, making simple interactions seem obsolete. Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor, believes that the recent developments in technology are “taking us places we don’t want to go” in regards to our dependence on technology. The worry stems from the fear of deteriorating face-to-face social skills. When commenting on a post or replying to an email, we have the unique ability to filter carefully and delete mistakes. In real life, that luxury does not exist.

Finding the Balance 

We need to determine where using Facebook is socially acceptable and where we should leave it behind. Adam Ostrow suggests having clear-cut places where we shouldn’t encourage the outside world to intrude through cell phones, including bedrooms and classrooms. While Ostrow makes a valid point, I don’t think we can compartmentalize our lives enough where phone usage isn’t necessary. The busy lives of working professionals require constant communication. We can reach a compromise by understanding that using phones becomes inappropriate in certain situations including business meetings. The movement towards less text and Facebook messaging will reduce the anxiety many people feel when they’re in the business world and have to give a presentation. The more common everyday conversation will help business professionals present and explain ideas in a clear manner without the protection of a phone or computer screen.

by Mahlette Mammo



3 Responses to “Creating Safe-Zones from Technology”

  1. Valerie Huang April 21, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    The rise of social media has changed our lives in an amazing way. While it helps make face-to-face communication less necessary, it also improves our communication skills in several ways. It inspires writing (blogs), concise writing (Twitter), and visualization (Facebook and Pinterest). It also changes the landscape for marketing and advertising, involving customers as well as competitors.

    • Alexandra O April 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      I agree with Valerie. However, I do feel that it hurts our business skills as well. The way we use technology and multi-task also widens the gap between our generation and the generation above us. I believe that the way we depend on technology hinders our ability to speak with people face-to-face.

    • Christina Sukhu April 23, 2012 at 1:33 am #

      While social media and technology has inspired writing and visualization, I fear that too much time is dedicated to them. We are used to being in an on-the-go environment and use any free time to check our email on our phone or use other apps. I’ve recently encountered incidents where I’m in a room with friends and the majority of them are playing Draw Something on their phones with the other people in the room rather than actually talking to them!

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