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The Effect of Technology on Human Relationships (Essay Sample)

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the paper answers the question \"how does technology affect human relationships?\"

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The Effect of Technology on Human Relationships
Introduction
In this modern age, technology has taken a pivotal role in almost all spheres of human life. The rate at which modern technology is evolving is alarming. Almost every person in the world today owns or has an access to a high-tech device or material. These high-tech devices, which include cell phones for communication, computers for composing and receiving mails and documents , MP3 players to provide a channel through which one can hear listen to music in the go, cameras for capturing images, among other things. Technology has impacted people’s lives in different dimensions, and this influence is expected to persist way into the future. The purpose of this essay is to investigate and discuss the effects that technology
Modern technology has been hailed for the many positive effects it imparts on its users. For instance, with the evolution of the internet students are able to conduct online research for their courses. The internet has offers up to date information on different subject areas. Aside from aiding student academic research, the internet has also opened up the world of communication and commerce. E-commerce is that branch of commerce that has been benefited by the evolution of the internet. People are able to communicate in real time and get timely responses. The modes of communication facilitated by the internet include social media networking, e-mail, Voip calls among others.
How did Steve Jobs do it?
The internet as we know it connects people from different parts of the globe. It has revolutionized the way in which people conduct their private and public affairs. The emergence of the internet saw a corresponding evolution of high-tech devices which have the capability of gaining internet access. These devices differ in size, price and functionality. The major inventions in the tech world include as Bill Gates of the Microsoft brand and Steve Jobs of the Apple brand. These inventors are accredited with the invention of computing devices, some of which are gigantic and can fill an average room, and also for the creation of hand held devices that can fit in one’s pocket. These inventions that include computers, ipads, iphones, smart phones, have been hailed for the widespread access and use of the internet (Isaacson, 2011).
However, negative effects associated with the modern technology are often pushed under the rag. Although there is a widespread acclamation for the use of modern technology, we ought to gain an appreciation of the negative effects imparted on humans by modern technology. The exposure to this technology is not restricted by age ands as thus, young children can also get exposed to this technology. Owing to its ready availability, technology can confer negative effects to children and teenagers who are naturally known to be explorers. The exploration nature of these young minds exposes them to technology and does not provide a safeguard against its harmful effects.
A close analysis of technology reveals the manner in which it has affected general conduct among individuals. Of particular interest is the manner in which technology has affected attitudes, behavior and relationships. To clearly understand the effects that technology has on human relationships, we will now fine tune our discussing from the broad topic of technology and look at the social media as a component of technology. The social media is loosely defined as a platform that allows for information interchange between persons that are separated in space. This definition does not exclude the interchange of information that occurs between people that are in close proximity with each other. It is important to also add that the social media as a platform has been afforded success by the various innovations in the tech world. The social media comprises platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tagged, MySpace, Skype, among others.
The internet and technology continue to experience accelerated growth. With the inventions pioneered by tech experts such as Steve Jobs and the continued innovation in the industry, there is no telling of the new spheres that technology will open up in the coming years. The society as we know it is rapidly changing as it experiences growth and there are no indications of its slowing down. The changes witnessed in the society emanate from the effects imparted on our lives by the internet and social networks. Inasmuch as these networks were created to enhance human relations, they have been able to do just the opposite. This new way of communication has successfully isolated people form their every day socialization and communication and has thrown them to a state of isolation which has further plunged them into loneliness. The social networks have also been instrumental in detracting people from face-to-face communication with their friends and family members.
According to Turkle (2010), the social networks were initially designed to make work easy. Instead of achieving this end, the computers have ended up connecting humans in a tethered network. Instead of keeping the computers busy, the computers have turned to keep humans busy. Turkle argues that the computers, networks and the internet often leaves its users spent.
Human beings, being social animals are likely to feel lonely when they lack people to interact with. Social networks offer a temporary solution to the problem of loneliness. It offers a source of virtual friends who fill the user with a sense of comfort and companionship. However, this feeling is short-lived and leaves the user depressed and lonely. It is easy to find “company” online but this company is not real. People can enjoy continual connection with each other but its rare to have each other’s full attention. The users of these social sites have many encounters, friends are made and dropped along the way. This can be harmful to a person’s morale especially when the person discovers that he has been dropped by so many people as friend. So many people are engaged in social networking, either by texting or chatting instead of going out to meet real people. This has affected the individuals’ communication and interpersonal skills.
The social media also affects family relations. Children are introduced to messaging and texting at a very tender age. In this internet generation, messages are exchanged through facebook and other social networks. The social media has been known to cut into family time. Families no longer spend quality time together. These days, children and teens prefer online chatting and texting with family members instead of the traditional face to face communication. Families and real friendships are being destroyed by the social media because people are too distracted with the social media to pay attention to the people around them.
The loose of crucial social interaction skill is yet another effect of the internet and social networks. For instance, teens and young adults are said to spend most of their time on social networks such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter. This causes them to lose some crucial socialization skills needed to sustain a healthy face-to-face communication. The social networks adversely affect its users because it promotes escapism; on these sites people can falsify their profile information so as to run away from the reality of their lives (Isaacson, 2011).. This is not healthy because after the user has logged out, he meets up with his real life, a situation that might cause depression. Ties formed on the social networks are not, at the end of the day, ties that bind.
The effect of social networks can also be seen in the manner in which these networks affect love relationships. With the advent of social networking, maintaining a healthy love relationship has become a taunting task. Social networking fuels marriage break-ups and takes relationships away from its originality. Base love relationships are made and broken over these social networks. Emotions are hurt by these break-ups. Traditionally, people use to meet before they could enter into a love relationship. It is after people meet that they can be able to establish what they have in common. But in this technology age, people who have never met in person enter into relationships which never last. Healthy and budding relationships are affected by the “scavengers” that are found on these social sites. Oftentimes spouses have engaged in extra-marital affairs through social sites that encourage online dating. Infidelities caused by the social networks have led to many divorces and separations (Isaacson, 2011).
The 24/7 Fame
According to Kirkpatrick (2011), in the earlier years of the tech era, people used to exchange emails anonymously. These people then started using their nicknames with the messages and this led to what we now know as social networks. The internet together with these networks has become an addictive electronic drug that keeps its users coming back for more. The internet has gained infamy for getting people “hooked-up” on poor habits that include addiction to pornography. The real cost of this addiction is evidenced by the number of and quality of relationships maintained by the user in the real world. The temptation presented by the social media for people to substitute physical relationships with electronic ones is deemed counterproductive. Too much electronic engagement leads to the development of social isolation.
Social networks also provide an avenue through which people can vent and share their feelings. However, people are prone to abusing this provision and use the site to settle scores with people who have done them wrong. The sharing of personal information through social networks might lead to conflict among the parties concerned...
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