Social Question

Luna's avatar

Is technology interfering with human interaction?

Asked by Luna (220points) May 3rd, 2010

I read something the other day about using technology for communication and things of that nature. It was basically saying that there is so much technology in the world today that people don’t even have to bother with actual human contact. its like You feel like saying something and all you have to do is press a few buttons. You don’t have to see the person or hear the person but you’re having a full fledge convo with them.
I didn’t really think it was that bad until that same day i saw these two girls texting and one of them started laughing then she put her phone down and the other girl started laughing. this went on for a while until one of the girls got up and said “you’re crazy!” and then left. I thought that was way too much because they weren’t even in a place where they weren’t aloud to talk. They were outside!

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16 Answers

Sophief's avatar

Yes I would say it is. People don’t properly communicate anymore, it’s all done via technology, instead of our own mouths.

bongo's avatar

could have been sending each other photos i suppose or something like that but texting when you are sitting next to each other (where you can talk) is a bit much. I have been known to text other people sitting a few people away from me in lectures but I think thats a bit different.
technology is definately interfering with human interaction, both in a good and bad way.
it is now easier than ever to stay in conctact with people. going to uni I would have fallen out of the circle of information with my mates at home is it hadnt been for facebook. I get to see photos of my cousins in sweden who I hadnt seen before and long distance relationships are now alot more commonplace (according to my parents)

However, I dont like the way it is affecting people’s use of the english language, a bit of text speak is fine when you are running out of credit and need to send that bit of information but emails saying things like hi, hwru? wt u up22day? is horrendous. I know I do drop grammer alot and really shouldn’t but it is becomming too common.

I used to love texting when I was younger however I now find it time consuming and fiddly. a phone call is so much faster, cheaper and more personal.
I also find having a text conversation to someone sat next to you can be pretty rude to others around. its like whispering and giggling at people.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I have seen two people sitting side by side and texting.

Luna's avatar

@bongo i thought the same thing, but everybody was just like stop being so paranoid. I really don’t think that’s considered paranoid if you’re sitting near someone and they won’t tell you why they’re laughing.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t like the word “interfering.” It’s certainly changing the way we interact.

You can also make the same argument about writing itself. With writing, two people don’t have to be face-to-face to communicate. Writing also lessens the need to memorize things. In fact, Plato bitched about how the technology of writing was interfering with society in the 300’s BC:

“[It] destroys memory [and] weakens the mind, relieving it of…work that makes it strong. [It] is an inhuman thing.”

With any new technology, there will always be people lamenting about how it’s ruined some imagined “good old days” of communication or work or whatever. All the way down to the invention of writing. And in retrospect these people tend to end up looking pretty shortsighted.

SundayKittens's avatar

Good Question!!!!

wonderingwhy's avatar

For now, only in the sense of those who adopt it in lieu of other forms of interaction rather than in addition to. Otherwise, it’s just another way of communicating.

erichw1504's avatar

Of course. It’s quicker and lazier.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t necessarily think it’s interfering, but it’s definitely changing the way we communicate. People barely hand write letters anymore, instead they send e-mails. Instead of calling, they text. People pay all of their bills online and very few write checks anymore. Those are all fine things and still accomplish the same goal, often times much faster than the “old way”. But, like with all things, there is a potential cost to it. What happens when the younger generations are no longer learning to write checks, balance a checkbook, write proper letters, etc and then something happens with computers (the internet goes down for a long period or something big like that), will the younger generation be able to fall back on the “old way” of doing things with very little knowledge of it?

Val123's avatar

(As we all sit here communicating via the internet!)

wundayatta's avatar

I think that, while it is certainly changing how we interact, it is interfering with our interactions, to the extent that people prefer to communicate via technology instead of in person. I don’t know how much people are substituting virtual interaction for real life interaction.

My daughter, aged 13, uses Facebook almost constantly to keep in touch with her schoolmates. Does this interfere or enhance? Well, she lives far away from the schoolmates, so she probably wouldn’t go to see them in person. With technology, she gets to interact.

A lot of people meet online for friendship or more intimate relationships. I think most people underestimate the amount of information they do not get when interacting only virtually. When they meet, there is so much more to find out. Like their privacy preferences. Or how their personalities change under the influence of alcohol. How they hug or kiss or make love. How they like to eat and maybe even what they like to eat. Music preferences. There are many things that we learn in real life interaction that we don’t even think about until we start a relationship virtually and then move to real life.

Is this interference or does it enhance interaction? You can certainly meet many people online that you would never meet if the virtual world didn’t exist. On the other hand, since you meet online, you have to conduct all of the relationship virtually until you make the leap to real world interaction.

I think that the virtual world can be quite misleading. Even if you use photos and talk on the phone or do videochat, there are many things you don’t see in the virtual world that are perfectly obvious in person. One time I met someone I had seen on video chat. This person shocked me when we met in person. She was so much bigger than she seemed over the video. It was very weird. I went back to old videotapes to see how I could have missed at, and to this day, I don’t understand.

I think that the downside of virtual interaction is that people forget how much they don’t know about another person. The virtual interaction is so powerful on it’s own, that you can think you know everything. It’s hard to remember that what you think you know is largely made up based on the cues you have. That fantasy person could be quite different from the real one.

Even if someone tells you everything about themselves—habits and illnesses and ways of thinking and other problems. The import of these things isn’t apparent until you meet. I don’t think anyone can imagine the effect that ADD has on a person’s behavior. ADD is just a label. Being late and losing focus and getting obsessive about strange things are completely unknowable.

I guess I do think that technology interferes with human interaction. It also facilitates that interaction. The interference is that it fools us into believing we know more than we do. This is not a deadly flaw by any means. Just something to be aware of and cautious about.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. For example excessive use of mp3-players outdoors.

thriftymaid's avatar

It’s not that it limits interaction, but it has caused a decline in language skills.

Nullo's avatar

Time was, you could sit on the bus and have a conversation. Now everybody’s wired into their headsets (or worse, playing crappy music over crappy little speakers) or yakking on the phone

Val123's avatar

@Nullo And to that you can add that they seem to have totally lost all courtesy. They’ll be yelling into their phone like they’re the only ones in the restaurant or bus, or whatever. What I hate is when you have 3 people in one room yakking in their phones, and getting louder and louder to be heard over the other two people who are also getting louder and louder. It’s not only rude to the people in the room, it’s rude to the person they’re talking to.

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