Technology is Killing Humanity
Today, our world is a lot quieter than it used to be. As a student and as a passenger of public transport, I now barely see people smiling, talking or making eye contact at schools and in public places. Finally, I realize why people rarely communicate with others now, and this kind of big issue is caused by a tiny thing that we all carry in our pockets every single day: smartphone. In conclusion, the excessive use of mobile Internet devices is killing humanity by destroying the meaningfulness of communication and human interaction.
The eyes are the windows to the soul as the popular phrase. According to Quantified Impressions, a Texas-based communications analytics company, a normal adult makes eye contact between 30 and 60 percent of the time in a daily conversation, however, emotional connection is built when eye contact is made during 60-70 percent of the conversation. (Gregoire) In other words, the more eye contact, the more of a connection is made.
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Unfortunately, people now tend to avoid or reduce eye-contact with others because their eyes are glued to their mobile devices most of the time.
According to recent estimates, the average American spends more than five hours per day using digital devices on computers and mobile devices (the number is relatively higher for those who work in front of computer screens), and another four and a half hours watching television. (Gregoire) If we assume that an average person everyday spends eight hours on sleeping, one and a half hours on transportation, eight hours on work, and four and a half hours on watching television (as the research above suggests), that person only has two hours left to do whatever he or she wants to do.
Would that person spend two hours on communicating with others face to face? Seemingly, the answer is “No. ” Some people may argue that mobile Internet devices actually provide more opportunities for us to communicate with our family, friends or potential friends which can bring people all over the world closer, because people now can use those social Apps such as Facebook, Tweeter and Instagram to interact with others through their smartphones anytime anywhere. Nevertheless, their opinion is totally contradictory to the fact.
Instead of bringing people together, social Apps are now changing the human society into a world that is full of narcissism. Today, most people only care about the number of likes, comments and followers they have on their accounts instead of truly sharing their life experience. Unfortunately, none of us are as popular as pop stars. Therefore, people need to do extra work to earn more likes and comments, and the only way to satisfy their vanity is to keep commenting on others’ posts. This kind of act can cause a vicious circle as people cannot stop making meaningless comments.
Indeed, most of us are not truly interacting with others but throwing garbage to them as well as receiving garbage from them anytime anywhere. Besides using social Apps to get those so-called happiness, people have been falling in love with text messages for a long long time and there is no sign this phenomenon is fading. Even though texting is a little bit more similar to the traditional forms of communication such as writing letters or emailing, its impact to human communication is extremely negative and destructive.
“Miscommunication is perhaps one of the most common, if not the most frustrating problems with Smartphones and relationships, especially when it comes to text message,” says Lindsey Chadwick, an online editorial staff. When we actually talk to a person no matter face to face or through a phone call, we can clearly understand the tone and the meaning that the person tries to express; however, a text message can confuse us or perhaps it can cause some problems between us and our friends, and this is exactly what miscommunication is.
The worst thing that is caused by text messages is that our young generation’s literacy is getting worse. According to Studentfirst. com, on the 2009 NAEP Reading Test, about 26 percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored below the “basic” level, and only 32 percent of eighth graders and 38 percent of twelfth graders are at or above grade level. (Report 1) If you pay attention to the way that our teenagers text, you can find a huge difference between their own language and the normal English.
Plus, a recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, texting ranks as the number one mode of communication among them. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 text a median of 60 times a day — up from 50 in 2009. (Samakow) As we can see, texting has becoming a teens’ daily routine. Therefore, when they get used to the way they text their friends, they will tend to apply the same thing at school. In my opinion, the only way to make people do not excessively use mobile Internet devices is to lessen or limit their opportunity to reach the Internet. Today, we have seen more and more mobile companies offer various “unlimited”
package to the mobile users in order to let them access the Internet without any constriction. However, the mobile companies should stop promoting or offering this kind of service, and they should only provide “unlimited data” package to those who really have a strong need to text or to access the Internet, such as I. T. professionals or international businessman. Moreover, if someone applies an “unlimited” package, he or she will need to provide some specific and significant information to the mobile company in order to prove that his or her case is qualified to use the package.
Canceling “unlimited” package isn’t enough to lessen people’s opportunity to connect to the Internet because wireless signals are everywhere. Therefore, hotels, large-scale business quarter, restaurants, entertainment centers, beauty centers, gyms and information consultation should not provide unrestricted wifi to their customers. Instead, they could set a time limit to restrict their customers to connect to wifi network. For example, if a person’s device has been connecting to wifi for 15 minutes, he or she will not be able to connect to it for the next 10 minutes.
At this point, we do not have to worry too much about the mobile game addiction because nowadays most of the mobile-game companies have set an access limitation for their games to prevent their users from addiction. Lastly and most importantly, schools and guardians should spend more time on teaching their children the true meaningfulness of communication and human interaction, and teaching them how to talk or communicate with others at the same time, instead of just letting them stick with the computers and make “connection” to the “real” world.