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Positive And Negative Effects Of Technology On Communication

1502 words - 7 pages

Technology today has a myriad of gadgets and tools to facilitate communication and this has transformed the way people communicate with each other. From the invention of the telegraph to the internet, technology has allowed people connect with family, friends, and colleagues at any location. Moreover, people can express their opinions to larger groups of people instantly that would not have been possible without the advent of technology. However, electronically mediated communication is a double edged sword. At the speed of which technology has provided for communication, being instant and ubiquitous, people are no longer separated by time and space. And because there is no need to overcome ...view middle of the document...

Communication is virtually done every day by different groups of people for diverse subjects at work, school, business, and home. An individual who is at work and wants to communicate with a friend may find writing an email or sending a text message more convenient than making a phone call to schedule a meeting. Although technology has helped people in the way they communicate, it has nevertheless its negative effects on the content, patterns, outcomes, and organizational structure (Barker & Angelopulo 2006). The use of electronic media has hindered communication socially and emotionally that is the result from the absence of traditional attributes inherent in conversations such as facial expression (Loos, Haddon & Mante-Meijer 2008), body language, and tone of voice (Barker & Angelopulo 2006). People that are constantly relying on electronically mediated communication to interact with others might find it difficult to engage with people in person (Small & Vorgan 2009). Although technology has helped people to communicate in more efficient ways, it has led to the lack of having an interpersonal relationship (Eastman 2013). With technology, the languages we use have changed. People are now using online slang, words that are heavily abbreviated or consists of numerals, such as LOL for (for 'laugh out loud'), gr8 (for 'great'), and diffy (for "difficult"). They are mainly used in colloquial text messaging, which is hard for some individuals to discern their meaning in a sentence. Although it is faster to type and send, it takes longer for the reader to understand, as there is no standardisation (BBC News 2008). For example, the word tomorrow could be '2m', 'tmr' or 'tomolo'. In situations where the meanings of online slang are misinterpreted, it causes unnecessary inferences and conclusions. Lenhart et al. (2008) has found that youths are now using online slang in situations where they are not warranted, such as school essays, and eventually in business messages when they enter the workforce.
According to Gooden & Kearn (2013), communication skills are crucial to the social development of a child, and it is important to have a supportive and responsive family to interact with. Children with a strong foundation in communication skills are found to excel better at school, understanding others, expressing themselves, and making use of non-verbal cues, i.e. body language, to communicate (Walker et al. 1994). However, with the increase of online role playing games, the Internet, and twenty four hour television programs, children are spending less time interacting with friends (Van Rooij et al. 2000), and they are forming friendships with their computers and online gaming contacts instead (Greenfield et al. 2010). The lack of social interaction with peers causes them to have problems engaging in face to face interaction. This is supported by a study conducted by Padilla-Walker et al. (2010), stating that the quality of relationships with ‘real life’...

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