Technology, social media kill our communication skills

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

JESSIKA KARLSSON, Channels Staff

I’m sitting at Starbucks with a friend, and during our hours of conversations I wonder when her face got replaced with the back of her phone.

Is this what today’s society has come to? Where people somewhere along the way of social media and the Internet lost track of the real world and genuine conversations?

Jessika Karlsson
Jessika Karlsson

Don’t get me wrong—I do think that social media is a wonderful concept and that the basic idea of the Internet is astonishing. Mankind managed to develop a tool to share information in an easy way, to enhance globalization and to bring the world closer together.

Social media, which is known worldwide, has helped families and friends to stay connected, despite the fact that they live on different continents.

Not even 10 years ago, communication with people from other countries or states, wasn’t only complicated, but also extremely expensive. Making a long-distance call was a time-consuming process and the reception wasn’t anything to cheer for.

But here we are, year 2014, and the situation looks completely different. Today’s society is privileged with several free services accessible for anyone with a smart phone, to communicate with anyone, anywhere. To access information is just as simple, thanks to the Internet.

All of these characteristics are unique for the Internet where the concept and purpose of it is to connect, communicate and inform.

Somehow it feels like today’s society has taken the cyber world too far and our usage of the Internet is damaging everyday contact and interpersonal communication.

As the Internet progresses over the years, a new world phenomenon has been born and social media saw its first rays of light.

It is close to impossible to meet someone today that has managed to dodge the attraction from networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Social media has many amazing features but it does also come with a high price.

People from many generations use these networks every day, but it is slowly taking over their real life.

There are numerous stories of neglected children that are struggling with parents who would rather update their Facebook page than pay attention to their own flesh and blood.

Somewhere along the way people started using social media more than they interacted with each other. Personal conversations where people actually socialize and communicated face-to-face seem to be a dying art in the year of 2014.

Another problem with the simple spread of information over the Internet is that it creates an easy way for people to express hatreds, share inappropriate materials and exert cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying in particular, especially among children, is an increasing problem today that many people struggle with. These mean comments and personal attacks among children spreads like wildfire on various social networks. The outcome of this has in some cases led to suicide attempts and even deaths.

The concept of the Internet and social media is a wonderful thing when used properly. But if we don’t wake up from this cyber daze and realize that there is a darker side to it, the social world we once new will change forever.

The enjoyment of a cup of coffee and a conversation with a friend that doesn’t involve the back of a phone might be lost forever.