Paradox of Digital Era: Negative Impact of Technologies on Our Life

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Imagine going to dinner with your partner, and you both promised to ignore any calls, text, and notifications from social media. Your having a discussion about the excessive use of technology at home. You’re children are more on their phone than outside, and they barely interact with other children. The excessive use of technology has made both of you lose friendships, family values and connections with other employees at work. Suddenly you get a notification from social media. What would you do? Look at the notification, or ignore it? Let’s just say you decide to look at the notification and also decide to respond to it. Your partner now feels unimportant, angry, and frustrated because you were having a serious conversation and you decided to pick up the phone instead of ignoring it. By you picking up the phone and knowing you were having a conversation about the fact that you can’t stay off our phones you just made things worse and proved a point. You did not have any empathy on your partner’s feelings and did not care to ignore social media at least until dinner was over.

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These types of situations happen all the time. People tend to put social media as a priority. They remove themselves from conversations and interaction with people face-to-face and hide behind a profile picture on social media. Having a social media account can be good for conversations, for networking, meeting new people and sharing thoughts and feelings. But then ask yourself, is there such thing as too much technology? Will people be willing to put their phones down to save a relationship, friendship, family values’ etc.?

Sherry Turkle, author of,“Stop Googling. Let’s Talk”, argues that people, especially young adults, tend to always be on their phone. They prefer to communicate through technology rather than to communicate face-to-face. And if they’re put in a situation where there is a face-to-face conversation, they’ll find a way to end the conversation and turn to their phones. Conversations face-to-face are kept light and simple. Technology has taken over face-to-face conversations, and young adults do not see the need or importance of conversations skills. She argues that technology is not the problem, it’s how much we use it and how much of our time is spend on it. Turkle informed us about an interview that she had with a 15 year old boy. He told her that he would not raise his children the way his parents raised him, “with phones during meals and in the park and during his school sports events” (2).Most children tend to copy what their parents do. Children that are being raised with the use of technology won’t know the importance of communication and won’t know how to respond to a situation they might be put in when they are in the “real world”.

Now imagine those children who grew up with technology interactions throughout their young lives, are now in a workplace setting, with no skills of communication and have never had the need to show empathy or feelings with someone face-to-face. At work a co-worker goes up to him or her with a personal issue and that young adult shows no empathy towards this person’s feelings. He or she is listening, but looking down on the phone. The coworker’s feelings might get hurt and the workflow might feel uncomfortable for them to work with each other. Sadri’s, article states that is is important to show empathy in the workplace. Sadri article states that empathy is the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes and understand his or her thoughts and feelings. By showing empathy and understanding towards others, you can avoid or fix misunderstandings and make the workflow healthy. When dealing with other people’s emotions, Sadri states that you have to put yourself in their shoes, feel their emotions and empathy what they are going through. How can that be done if these young adults never practice it. Sadri also states in her article that empathy also involves practicing active listening, meaning to fully listen wholehearted to a message, also, acknowledging and responding to a message and taking all informational cues, such as verbal and nonverbal (27). It’s easy to grab the phone and send someone a text, and express feelings, but it’s not as easy doing it face-to-face. The conversation can go wrong if you don’t know how to respond, how to express emotions, and how to listen to the other people talking.

This is why most people find it easy to just text. You can put a sad, happy, angry, emoji and the other person on the other side of the phone will get a sense of how you’re feeling. Social media can be used to hide who you really are, say and express what you really would like to say, and share interest with people you’ve never met. Lori Ann Wagner, from the article “When your smartphone is too smart for your own good: How social media alters human relationship states that humans naturally desire to have connections with other humans. Those it matter then how you connect with someone? According to Wagner article, it does matter. Face-to-face conversations gives us the ability to use our five sense. We know who we are talking to, so there’s no chance of being catfished. Also we can feel and express hands-on on what the other person is going through.

We rely too much on technology. We ignore our surrounding and miss out on a lot of things. We lose the skill of communication and forget how to show empathy for other people. We tend to be selfish, without caring who it affects.The couple is a good example, they do not know when to put their phones down and have lost friendships, work relations and family values. This is why I believe that our reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with family, friends, romantic and work place setting.

Reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with family, friends romantic and workplace setting. This issue is not just affecting the way we communicate with other, but it’s also affecting our children’s health. According to Emel Torum, et al., author of “The Effects of Internet Use Intensity on Quality of Life, Anxiety and Depression Scores in Pediatric Migraine,” internet addiction has become a new problem associated with physical health for children and adolescents. Children and adolescent are suffering from migraines, headaches, back aches, anxiety syndrome, depression, obesity due to lack of physical activity,and suicidal ideation (24,26). Torum research states that children who are addicted to the internet would have five from the eight characteristics symptoms which are preoccupation, uncontrolled impulse, usage more than intended, tolerance, withdrawal, impairment of control, excessive time and efforts spent on the internet and impairment of decision making ability (27). Children that suffer from any of these health issues tend to also have communication issues, and low self-esteem. If children continue to turn to technology devices from everything and anything, I believe that they will not develop the skills that they need to be successful in life. Also if parents don’t keep an eye on what the child is doing, they can easily exposed to inappropriate videos,make associations with dangerous people.

Technology is now being used in an everyday basis, so parents need to find away to keep their kids active and productive, and away from so much technology. Sometimes it’s hard for parent’s to keep children active and away from the use of excessive technology because parents also have an addiction problem. For example, if I am tell my child to turn of the xbox and go outside and play, we go outside and instead of me watching him or play with him, I decide to be on my phone. Now I am giving my child mix feelings about the use of technology. He night think, “if she can be in her phone and not be active, so can I”. Parent’s can’t seem to put their phones down, not even at work.

Reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with the workplace setting. According to Kimberly Young, author “Internet Abuse in the Workplace.”, adults and young adults abuse the internet use at work. Young states that employers tend to use the internet at work for personal use such online pornography, online shopping, sporst shopping, et,al. (20) People spend most of their time at work, and sometimes work can be stressful, and boring, especially when you don’t practice communication skills with other employees, so people tend to turn to the computer while at work to get things done that they couldn’t do while at home or on their free time. Young states that misuse of internet in the workplace causes people to get fired, and suspensions (21).

Misuse at of internet at work include dysfunctional behaviors such as electronic mail misuse (personal e-mail, spamming, flaming, sending racist or sexual harassment email), involvement in non-work related newsgroups, chat room participation, slacking (stocks, surfing, sports), cybersex, pornography, gambling, and security threats (hacking, copyright, transmitting secure data)(21).Another issue that technology causes in the workplace is that employee that spend too much time on social media, youtube etc, lack their job responsibility. The work gets backed up, and can provide poor customer service if dealing with customers(22). This is a big issue because not only are you backed up on your work, but you are also giving a bad reputation to the company you work with and can lose your job for not doing your job.

Reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with our romance life. If adults can’t keep off their phones during children activities, work hours, this might be a problem in a relationship. According to Katherine M.Hertlein, author of “Digital Dwelling: Technology in Couple and Family Relationships”, couple’s need to have rules, roles and boundaries, when it indrocuting technology in the home. By not setting rules roles, and boundaries, couples may present specific problems associated with infidelity, porn usage, and cyber violence (375). An example Hertlein give us on why couples should have boundaries is that a partner may become upset if the other partner post revealing pictures on social media (378) This means that if boundaries would have been talked about prior to opening a social media account about how each other feel’s about how to handle post, and comments, then each person knows how each other feel about what they post.

Reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with our romance life because if one partner tends to spend more time on the phone than the other partner, the partner that’s less on the phone will feel unloved, unwanted, and will start suspecting that their partner is having an affair with someone. Young states that an investigation of married men’ online seaxual behavior revealed that approximatly 78% of them reported having face-to-face sexual encounter with someone they met online(378). I have personally known a lot of couples, especially young adults, who seem to have a great relationship with their partner, but then meet someone on social media and end up having an affair with them.

Reliance on digital technology is impacting our empathy and affecting our relationship with family, friends romantic and workplace setting. It’s not the same to sit down with your partner, and have a romantic night out. Going out with friends is also based upon social media, and if there is any communication within each other, it’s to gossip about what was posted on social media. Children and young adolescents spend too much time playing video

games, texting, and on social media accounts. Digital technology is useful to communicate, work, socialize, and for school work, I just think people are using too much technology and depend too much on it.

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