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The Digital Revolution And Its Effects On People

1781 words - 7 pages

“These days, being connected depends not on our distance from each other, but from available communications technology.” Relationships today are being impacted by the digital revolution. Modern technology diverts time and attention from spouses, families, and friends. Japanese believe that cellphones, texting, instant messaging, email, and online gaming have created social isolation. The greatest ‘social skill’ nowadays is to maintain eye contact with another person while texting. In ways, texting could be a good thing as it helps people keep up with family and friends they wouldn’t otherwise keep up with. However, society is overwhelmed by it all. Children are complaining that they are trying unsuccessfully to get their parents’ attention away from their phones and concentrated on them. It has come to the point where distinctions blur. “Virtual places offer connection with uncertain claims to commitment. We don’t count on cyber friends to come by if we are ill, to celebrate our children’s successes, to help us mourn the death of our parents. People know this and yet the emotional charge on cyberspace is high” Sherry Turkle writes that when she was younger, there were always hopscotches drawn on the sidewalk. Now the children are still out, but they are on their phones. One of the many setbacks of communication via cellphones is that it lacks the nonverbal cues, therefore, communication is less personal and more open to misinterpretation. “Technology offers a ‘safer’... type of relationship… people can exercise greater degree of control… less demanding mode of interaction than a conversation that takes place in real time.” People like the idea of online identities because online they could be rich, slim, and “buffed up”. People report that they are feeling let down when going from the virtual world to reality. People are seen fidgeting with their smartphones, looking for virtual places where they could be more. Sherry Turkle also describes the rapid changes in our society saying that only a decade ago, people would’ve been mystified to hear that fifteen year olds are sending and receiving close to six thousand messages per month. Yet, people in today’s generation are accustomed to this and it’s natural. It’s also natural to see people on the street seemingly “talking to themselves”-- really talking on mini microphones. “The social charges being wrought by a technology which, by making us permanently contactable, is having a profound effect on our interpersonal interaction.”
Another major problem with cellphones is the profound effect they have on the amount of automobile accidents. Despite the fact that most states ban texting while driving and many ban cellphone use altogether, at any given daylight moment, about 13.5 million drivers are using a handheld phone nationwide. Laws prohibiting cellphone use while driving may actually be counter-productive as now people tend to look down at their laps in order to hide from passing police....

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