Technologically speaking, this is the most connected time the world has ever seen. The ability to chat with friends across the globe in a variety of mediums is simply spectacular to anyone who has lived to see such major progressions. Imagine a time when letters traversed the sea by boat and think of how far the world has come. So if communication is easier than ever then why are so many people often hurt and frustrated by other peoples’ inability to communicate effectively? With so many new modes of expression shouldn’t everyone be feeling better instead of worse? With modern conveniences more than a few cultural setbacks have occurred.
Ways modern “connection” becomes divisive:
People in love with their phone seem to have an inability to just sit and be with another person without constantly looking to their mobile. Whether conscious of it or not it says to others, everyone else is more important. Parents should note that it also teaches children that divided attention is normal and okay. Yet when a child tries such a thing like wanting to eat dinner whilst playing video games it’s unacceptable. Yes there are plenty of things adults can do that children should not but when teaching children attentiveness and manners there is no better way than by example.
Talking loudly in public. Everyone’s heard of personal space, but too few talk about auditory and olfactory personal space. It is not acceptable for a stranger to sit touching another, nor should it be acceptable for someone to wear so much perfume or cologne that an entire train car must smell it. The same goes for public phone calls. Why people feel compelled to speak so loudly despite a clear connection is a mystery. Yet if it has become common knowledge that one should not invade another’s physical space, why can’t mobile users recognise their modern responsibility is quite similar? If a phone call must be taken in public then do all that’s possible to speak quietly or go to a more secluded location to speak.
Texting about serious subject matter has become all too pervasive. Texting is a wonderful tool for short bits of info but should never be used in place of true conversation. Too much can go wrong—with feelings getting hurt when never intended. Plus it’s become the coward’s way of dealing with topics that a person doesn’t want to invest real energy into. One should never cancel a date, break up with someone or tell them something devastating via text. Yet it happens, and all too often. Though one can’t control the behaviour of others, the individual treating texts with more responsibility will hopefully become a phenomenon where all users do.
As incredible as all modern communication is, it should never be used to replace true human contact. Yes, video chats on your smartphone can show body movement and eye contact, but sitting face-to-face with another and really investing that time and energy cannot be paralleled. True that can be challenging for people living great distances apart but do to work in visits with loved one on a regular basis. That could mean cashing in air miles or extending a business trip but do whatever possible to get the chance to sit down and just converse. Because as fantastic as technology can be, it does not replace the closeness found when family and friends make the effort to come together.
There’s still work to be done when it comes to using the right mode of communication for each specific occasion. Many people could also stand to apply old-world manners and courtesy to this modern age. It is up to each individual to use such great technology at hand but to remain human and warm. Ease of use and efficiency is one of the great boons of these modern times but technology should never be so engrossing that the true purpose—connection—is forgotten.