Technology, like anything else, has its good and bad qualities. People can rave about the greatness of technology in one breath, and in the next breath complain about its horribleness. One must think, since technology is ever advancing, how does it affect the relationships we have with other people? Is it enhancing our communication or deteriorating it by the minute?
One may argue that technology has enhanced the way we communicate with one another. It has given us more control over who we connect with, and the relationships we establish these people. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, smart phones, you name it, has given us the ability to connect with people both near and far. Some people are even complete strangers that we may never cross paths with in life, but because they share the same values and beliefs, you establish some sort of bond with them.
Others may argue that although technology gives us this great ability to communicate with one another, it is still frustrating to receive a hefty amount of emails each day. More people are left feeling isolated, because they rely too much on electronic relationships instead of human interactions. Even when you are face-to-face with friends and colleagues, people are more into their phones than they are engaging in the present moment. People you have great relationships with online are treated like mere strangers when you see them in person.
So where must one find a balance? How do you keep up with the advancements of technology and also keep your face-to-face interactions less awkward?
It’s quite simple.
Connect with as many people as you want to online. Whether you use social media, email, blogs, and forums as your platform to do so, establish those relationships. It’s great to connect with people who are like-minded, and they may be thousands of miles apart from you. Who knows establishing those types of relationships may cause an opportunity for job advancements to arise or may provide a chance for you to travel somewhere you’ve never been.
I’ve read once that technology doesn’t really raise barriers. It simply enables humans to raise barriers that they wanted to raise in the first place. But it also allows humans to take down barriers that they wanted to take down.
Therefore, if you feel that you are neglecting your face-to-face interactions with friends and colleagues for those online interactions, make a conscious effort to change it. If you are spending quality time with a friend, put the phone down and close the laptop. Simple as that. If your phone rings, unless it’s an emergency, ignore it. Your friend, spouse, or whatever, will appreciate the fact that you’re devoting time to them and engaging in the moment.