Can you imagine a generation without technology where people had meaningful interactions? This seems next to impossible for our generation but there was a time when this was a reality. Back then, people took time from their daily schedules to interact with one another which is very uncommon nowadays. Have you realized how technology has made you independent as well as dependent at the same time? It has provided you with solutions to almost all your problems and even if you get stuck, you can simply use technology to solve them.
But if you look closely, you will see that by providing solutions to our problems, technology is making us dependent on it. There has been a direct impact on the way we interact with one another. When we faced issues previously, we contacted our loved ones or the concerned person asking them to help us. But now, instead of getting in touch with them, we simply use technology and unknowingly avoid human interaction in the process impacting our social interactions.
We humans no longer value the need for human interaction. I’m not saying that it’s unimportant; it’s just that no one seems to care as they are busy with their social media and other online stuff. Even the following video, which talks about the impact of technology on human interaction, is a great example as it is being presented by an AI.
How Technology Destroyed the Human Interactions
Technology has dramatically reshaped human interaction, often leading to a decrease in face-to-face communication due to the rise of digital communication platforms. It enables people to connect without physical presence. This can sometimes result in more superficial relationships lacking deep emotional bonds. In addition to this, excessive use of technology can lead to social isolation, as individuals may prioritize virtual interactions over real-world social engagements.
Impact of Technology on Human Interaction
What will happen if you continue to rely on technology for your every basic need? You will eventually cut down human interaction and this will disconnect you from the real world. This will also impact your desire to interact with people, and human interaction will lose its significance in your life.
When we visited new places for either work or getting some things done, we used to talk to people around us asking them to guide us or talking to them just to have a casual conversation. Now we don’t see the need to strike a conversation because the information that we need is easily available to us with technology and we are usually talking to someone on our device.
We are unable to function without technology and this has disconnected us more from our society. Some of you will argue that technology has helped us to connect easily with people around the world but if you see the data, it has something else to say.
The increase in the use of technology has created a virtual distance among people who live together. Most of them are seen using their mobile devices which affects their relationship with people around them. We don’t realize that the more we use technology, the more we will end up creating our own virtual world, and in turn, it will make us more solitary.
Just for the sake of making ourselves available to unknown people in the virtual world, we are losing touch with people who are there for us in the real world. We can never know if the virtual people whom we are giving more importance to are even honest with us, and we would never know. Technology is creating a gap among people who live together and yet are detached from each other. If these impacts are neglected, they can create havoc.
The positive impacts of technology on human interaction
While we do accept that technology has severely impacted face-to-face human interaction, we also have to give credit where credit is due, and that is the ability of technology to bring us closer, even if only virtually. Hence, here are a few examples of how technology has helped us with human interaction:
1. Global channels of communication
Today, most of us are able to reach anyone on the other side of the world within minutes. It is only possible due to technology. It has empowered us to keep in touch with our friends and family who are not in our current surroundings, and as it has advanced, it has made our world smaller.
2. Provided a sense of connection
Yes, we can’t interact face-to-face in the technical sense of the word. However, technology does offer an alternative. It has given us things like video calling, live streaming, and so on that allow us to keep behest of one another in real-time. It is a boon for many who, due to various reasons, can’t stay connected in real life. Furthermore, it allows them to form an emotional connection even while using technology.
3. Online relationships
Technology has also provided us with a venue to seek emotional relationships online via several platforms and services. Although it reduces human interaction, which is actually going out and meeting someone, it sure does add convenience and opens our world to possibilities. In fact, online dating is so popular that a recent study by Sky.com estimates that almost 50% of couples will meet online by 2035.
4. Removes barriers to communication
But arguably, the best thing about technology is that it drives people closer to each other by removing barriers to communication. Today, we are way better equipped to tackle the social and cultural nuances of others. All with the help of technology. It is also a boon that two people from completely different backgrounds, cultures, and even languages can easily communicate using technology.
The negative impacts of technology on human interaction
Of course, we also have to consider the negatives of technology when it comes to human interactions. It is no secret that technology has harmed human interaction more than it has helped it. Yes, it has been remarkable for communication in general and allowed us to stay connected with those far away, but it has also made those close to us much farther away. Here’s how:
1. Reduced face-to-face interaction
As more and more people migrate to online social media platforms and similar services, it becomes harder for humans to sit back and have a simple chat. Even with our families and friends, we are unable to communicate with them, even daily, without checking our phones or scrolling down on our social media feeds. Even in the professional scene, the increase in remote working has made the work culture and environment much smaller and less impactful than earlier.
2. Increase in cases of cyberbullying
Technology might not be inherently good or bad, but certainly, it is often used for bad almost as much, if not more, than it is used for anything good. Case in point: the increased rate of cyberbullying. Many have used it to harass, bully, or victimize their peers. And in most cases, it has become too much for the victim to handle, leading to some sort of mental health issue.
3. Mental health issues
As we all know and as studies have proven, an increased use of technology often leads to some sort of mental health issue. It is not good for young adults and teenagers if not used in moderation. However, the lure of technology is so appetizing that many have literally become addicted to it, sacrificing their mental health as a result.
Changes in Our Preferences
In today’s time, most people prefer interaction with others through online modes, and only a few people give importance to in-person meetings. Our preferences have changed and this shift is due to the convenience that technology is providing us with.
No doubt, you can save a lot of time interacting with people using technology but actual meetings have a lot to offer than virtual ones. When you meet someone face to face, you make sure that your interaction is meaningful. You make an effort and let the other person know that you are equally interested in spending time with them.
With the rise in technology usage, we are preferring quantity over quality in human interaction. We are able to talk to many people but unfortunately are having less meaningful interactions. The change in our preferences is drastic and has the potential to impact human interaction negatively.
Misunderstandings Created by Technology
With social networking sites, it has become easier for us to get to know more about people. But on the downside, this has created misunderstanding, and false information is circulated. When there is a conflict between people, it is much easier to talk in person and sort it out but with technology, instead of resolving the matter, more misunderstandings are created.
Texts cannot convey the right message every time and if the other person interprets the message in the wrong way, things get worse instead of getting better. When you interact with someone in person, you focus on their body language and tone of voice which helps you to understand what the other person is saying but when you interact with someone through online mode, the implicit cues are missing leading to misunderstandings.
Eliminate Technological Dependence
We should eliminate our dependence on technology for interaction, and here’s why. When we interact with others more through technology, our messages become ambiguous. Considering our tendency to interpret ambiguous messages as negative, it is better to avoid them as much as possible. This will reduce the chances of miscommunication.
We should also replace online discussions that can take place in person with better outcomes. We have forums and other online platforms that allow us to interact with others but these same platforms become a source of negativity. As long as we are having healthy discussions, we are good to go but once it goes in the opposite direction, there are consequences.
We discussed how technology has destroyed human interaction, but there is a bright side to using technology if used correctly. When you are interacting with someone face to face, you don’t get much time to think as you are expected to give a response or reaction immediately. It is not the same in online communication.
Here, you can take your time to think about your response and let the others know when you are sure about it. We have many platforms now to share our thoughts, all thanks to technology! But on the flip side, the frequency of our face-to-face communication is decreasing. Let’s adopt a proactive approach to the way we communicate with others, and choose human interaction without technology as much as possible.