Human Interaction in the Tech age

You hear it everyday “Technology is ruining todays youth” or “Kids today have no interpersonal skills because of technology”. Then there is my personal favorite “We are fat because technology makes us lazy”. All of these are laughable.

We see people everyday on mass transit sitting with their heads buried deep inside tablets and smartphones, with their ears plugged with, usually white, ear buds. There will always be someone who makes the comment about how disconnected everyone is from the world around them. Seriously? Disconnected from the world? When I was a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, I commuted via subway from Queens everyday. My face buried in my blackberry, reading the news of the day. So I ask the following…

How is this….

…Any different than this?….

For years, and even still today, commuters keep themselves buried in newspapers in an effort to avoid awkward and useless small talk.

“Technology makes kids lazy”. Yes, kids today are no outside playing as much and are inside playing video games. However lets look at two different things, 1) In the golden age of children playing outside until the street lights came on, no one had to worry about random violence and 2) How often were sent outside to play and just sat on the stoop or tire swing alone? Now, at least children are developing complex problem solving skills and teamwork skills by interacting and playing video games online with people across the globe. If a child wants to go outside to play, they will. Technology has not and will not take that option away from them.

Please take a moment and watch this

Apple this holiday season released the above commercial. This commercial created a lot of commentary about the kid being disconnected and unattached from precious family moments. They said he was not experiencing the moments with his family but rather just observing them as he filmed. What did I see when I watched this? I saw a teenage boy, with an interest in film. I saw a teenage boy using the technology available to him, an iPhone, and creating a lasting memory that can be revisited anytime. How is this any different than a parent capturing a babies first steps with a camcorder or a photographer using every opportunity to take a photo during family gatherings.

Technology has not changed human interaction, it has simply changed the way in which we interact. Sure, some situations, technology has cause human interaction to take a turn for the worse – breaking up with someone via text message. However, that is an exception not the rule.

How do you feel technology has changed human interactions?

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