Cell Phones Impact on Relationships

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Technology…has made negative impacts on our society’s ability to communicate. Being a young adult and seeing the evolution of portable phones I have personally experienced the impact they have made. Flip phones that had the ability to call and text, however, unlimited calling was all the rage. This then progressed to the ENV, which had the stand phone on the outside, but when you flipped it open you had access to a full keyboard. Of which unlimited calling was no longer the necessity, but rather texting became the preferred method of communication. While now we sit in the current state of smart phones; phones that have the capability to do what a computer can do yet small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. With the rapid and drastic growth in technology I ask my self, “What impact has this made on me?”

Growing up I have always been told that if I do not know the answer to ask for help. Asking for helping meant going up to an actual individual, who would either give you the answer or lead you to someone who could. While now in this day and age if an individual has a question they go right to Google search. Cutting out the middleman entirely and going straight to the finish line. Noticing here that no verbal communication is required to complete the task. Thus with this elimination we create poor communication skills.

However, communicating as a whole is not eliminated entirely. Rather we transition from verbal to non-verbal and the platform switches from physical to virtual presence. Whether that’s being done on a phone, computer or other device there is still a dialogue. Using written communication requires us to be more vivid with description and imagery to convey a point. But during this process it is very easy for things to get misconstrued. In the job field it is common to communicate with an individual of whom you have never met in person, thus they do not know your work ethic or personality. These barriers can create tension that could have possibly been alleviated if verbal communication tactics of building rapport took place.

Often I see that written communication takes a lot of short cuts. This I think comes from the channel that technology has generated. For example we now have apps such as Tinder, which create palm of your hand access to intimate relationships. The way in which the app functions is you create a profile which is composed primarily of pictures. The opposite sex has access to view them and swipe ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If ‘yes’ is swiped by both sexes they then have the ability to instant message one another. Thus, eliminates the weeding out of face-to-face encounters to find a match. Rather the app does all the footwork for you and you in essence just seal the deal by putting a label on it. Building a natural connection through nature has decreased immensely.

Overall I see the progression of technology through cellular devices have had a negative impact on communication, both verbal and non-verbal and it appears to keep growing. Through this progression instead of growing I see us prolonging and progressing the issue to the point of never facing it. Rather we just adapt to our inability, thus in turn we lower our standards. I see that with these societies who continue to accept this growth in portable technology will have increased issues in developing meaningful relationships.

(By: Kelly Bader)

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