AP English Language and Composition
26 February 2014
The Age of Isolation
Through the years, people have grown to have an increasing reliance on electronics through almost every aspect in their daily lives. Technology has provided us with an effortless way to communicate, but with its advantages come major drawbacks. Although electronic devices allow for a quick and easy form of communication, they cannot build the trust or confidence that is only formed when engaging in a face-to-face communication. Because electronic communication does not always allow people to show others their true emotions, it hinders the feelings that one person can show to another’s sadness ...view middle of the document...
The reason that the cell phone caused a lack of connectedness between the two individuals seemed to come from the fact that the cell phone distracts us by reminding us of the various entertainment and social options it provides, which could therefore inhibit us from effectively communicating to the people sitting right beside us, and decrease our social consciousness. But because cell phones offer such a broad spectrum of conveniences, they have spread to almost every aspect of our lives, but not without significant drawbacks.
The main reason cell phones have become such an important part of our daily lives, is because they allow us to communicate with people across long distances in a matter of seconds. Cell phones allow us to reach out and communicate with people across the globe and help us facilitate relationships that would have otherwise been lost as a result of meeting in person. But these relationships formed mainly from electronic communication are usually not long lasting, as we are usually unable to generate the emotions that prompt and stimulate us to completely trust one another. When we talk to one another on a cell phone, or by texting, we are not able to show the deep emotion that comes from our facial and body language. A study from the University of Michigan showed “that only 7% of communication is based on the written or verbal word,” meaning that the rest of this communication comes directly from our facial and visual cues (Tardanico). Interpersonal communication allows us to learn and understand the body language shown by the speaker and effectively respond with respect to his or her emotions.
A problem many find with face-to-face communication is that it exposes the individual to the various social pressures that exist when engaging in a conversation with someone. These obstacles are especially difficult to overcome if the individual is shy by nature. Many parents praise technology for the reason that it has helped their children come out of their shells and communicate online to develop the social skills they need without needing to face the social pressures that would otherwise limit them in a regular conversation. But when an individual’s sole source of communication is through the Internet, it deprives them of skills necessary to be competent in face-to-face communication. Individuals that live through the Internet cannot understand the “emotional nuances” nor interpret the “social cues” that make up the entirety of communicating to someone in person (Stout). Being able to interpret and understand these visual cues are important, as they will directly lead to gaining the trust and confidence of the person you are speaking with. Without these qualities, relationships cannot sustain and will eventually deteriorate because of the lack of personal connection. These problems are also increasing as more and more younger children are exposed to technology as the main form of communication. As this generation of children...