Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Question of the Day #701

This question has been plucked straight from a series of messages between me and Carlos.

Carlos: "I just read a piece on The Daily Beast about the founder of Facebook. It was written by one of his classmates and it comes in the wake of the new movie The Social Network, which doesn't represent the guy in a very flattering light. It made me wonder if all these gadgets and communication devices we have now hurts us as a society or helps us.

Personally it's a mixed bag for me. I love being able to communicate with someone like you from a couple hundred miles away, but are we losing the personal touches of talking to someone face to face? I saw a MTV "True Life" episode that was about being too attached to your technical device or something like that. It was sad to see how these young people in relationships would ignore each other over their blackberry's, xboxs, and social networks. What do you think?"

Me: "Excellent question! Thank you! I will use it on QOTD. I haven't personally known any young people ignoring each other over technology, but I have seen a couple Oprahsodes that showed families who are constantly texting or playing video games and are challenged to unplug. When they do, they discover each other.

You and I weren't brought up that way, so we know to put away our cells when we're socializing with other people. But I can see how young people would have different boundaries. Interesting stuff."

So, bloggers, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Do all these gadgets and communication devices help us or hurt us?



  1. I think on a daily basis they mostly help us, but sometimes they might hurt us. It strikes me that some of the things that are written in messages such as FB or via text messages might not be said directly to that person. It would be too embarrasing or seem weird. As an extreme example I read about two murders being committed and the person planning the crimes asked a young girl, the nanny, to execute the actions. During a period of time when planning the murders the two of them didn't meet in person, all their communication were done by text messages which made them both feel in some way disconnected the actions. /Helena

  2. I think overall it hurts us. It's awesome to have such quick technology and I do know what family members are doing with facebook. But I wonder if teens will be less personable and more socially awkward due to lack of face time with others. Also, creativity suffers. There's no time to be bored and create something to do.

  3. Hi Suzanne. Thanks for stopping by my blog and it's very nice to meet you. I wonder of technology. My kids...21, 23...will answer a text, but ignor a call. I wonder of that. It's too early to say, but I think there will be consequences. Some good. Some bad. There is no stopping technology though. We'll have to get creative in the mix.

  4. Probably helps us connect with new ideas on how to treat certain problems, network to further our careers, learn new apps, ways of going about problems, etc. Enjoy that LA heat!

  5. Personally, I love that I can connect with people miles away, but when it comes to my family and close friends, I prefer in-person communication. I draw the line there. I do see your point about young people not really getting the difference. That part is definitely hurting our society.

  6. Hmm. I'm not sure how to answer that since I don't rely on the gagnets. I still love email over phoning someone. I'm not a big user of FB (even though I have a page).

    Now I'm going to be thinking about it all night. ;)

  7. I would agree that creativity suffers. Beyond that, I am sooo 20th Century. I think it's seriously rude when I'm talking to someone, the phone rings and they take the call. It's not an emergency . . . just a call. The danger is that the more connected we become, the more disconnected we are.

  8. Great question...technology does both for us...I rarely answer the phone if I have company, I only check the other line if I'm waiting for a specific call (which is rare)...I do blog instead of watching tv and chatting about tv in the evening....so I guess that takes away from my family...

  9. Clearly, the answer is both: help and hurt. Helps us by making this easier to connect, to meet up, to take a call while waiting somewhere for something... but it hurts us in many, many ways. I often wonder what the long term effects will be 50+ years from now. Here's an example of how technology hurts us - last night on my flight from CA to NJ we didn't read any of my magazines or books; my husband watched the Direct TV now offered on the plane and I did work on my laptop whose battery never died because of the handy-dandy AC outlet below my seat. Additionally, while waiting for our plane we didn't chat or observe people... instead we texted and Facebooked and emailed and checked weather and airline statuses on our Blackberries and iPhones (I have both devices). My devices are my every day now. The good news is that while on my vacation the past week I was barely on the thing, instead opting for the personal face to face interaction with our crew that flew all the way out to CA to be together... we subconsciously put our devices away to be with one another. So, it depends on the situation I suppose. GREAT question.

  10. Sue thank you for putting my question to your followers. As I thought it's a mixed bag for everyone. I do think our generation is more likely to put down the blackberry and have a lunch or dinner and not be interrupted. For me it's twitter that's a line I won't cross, I don't think I'm so self aborbed that people need to know what I'm doing every 15 min. or so. Once again thanks.

  11. I think we are, in an age when communication is so easy, becoming more isolated. It's a paradox. But communicating through an electronic device is not the same as a phone call where you can at least hear the other person and perhaps pick up on things you'd otherwise miss.

    how are u
    i'm fine

    doesn't tell you I may be suicidal.

    And of course face to face is best. Through face to face communication we learn about proper social behavior, we learn how to listen, to wait when it's our turn to speak, how to read faces, and so much more.

    YOU can't interrupted when I'm typing.

  12. Depends on how you use them. I'm a believer in moderation in all things.


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