Op / Ed

Is New Technology Altering Our Relationships?

newtechnology It seems a constant complaint these days: put away your cell phone!  You see a cute couple out at a candlelit dinner and yet, neither of them is talking–they are both absorbed in tap-tapping their cell phones.  It’s true that our constant cellphone companion does seem to take a lot of our attention spans, especially with all the internet you could ever want, social media, and more.  It’s not just for phone calls anymore.  However, is it really true that these devices are forcing us further away from each other?  It’s an interesting question that deserves a closer look.

I know that my own personal life is constantly lived through a screen.  Not all the time, but much of it.  However I use technology to enhance my personal relationships.  I use Facebook to post jokes to my friends and keep in touch.  I also use it to organize events.  I do the same thing with Instagram.

Yes it’s true that sometimes when I’m out with friends I get lost in my cell phone.  But sometimes it’s just to take a small breather – it’s hard to be “on” 100% of the time.  So I retreat to my phone for a moment.  My other friends sometimes do the same thing.  But I try to keep it within reason.  I won’t be constantly looking at it while my friend is talking – I had a friend that would constantly do this and it was extremely rude.  If I HAVE to look at something while someone is talking then I will, but I will explain what I am doing.

It really comes down to manners and how well-mannered someone is.  It’s all in their upbringing and their own personal sense of care for their friends.  We’ve all seen those couples that are out for dinner and they simply say nothing to each other.  I believe that those couples that are both on their cell phones might just be silent anyway even if they didn’t have phones.

So what do you think?  Do you think that phones are slowly coming between you and your friends?  Or do you think they enhance your current friendships?

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon has been writing on tech and malware subjects for 6 years and has been working in the internet and tech industry for over 15 years. He currently lives in Southern California.

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