Technology is an amazing thing. It opens up possibilities that previously were not thought possible. With the rise of electronic communication, the art of face-to-face communication has been lost to technology.
According to a survey conducted by statisticbrain.com in 2012, Facebook has 1.4 billion users worldwide, with 98% of these being aged 18-24, a number that has surely increased now. This only equates to just 11% of the people on earth but is still a lot of people – and that is just Facebook- we did not dare to look at the rest of the apps out there.
I am guilty of spending too much time on my phone; what used to be mornings spent curled up watching tv in the arms of my other half, are now spent checking Facebook status’s, online newspapers and Twitter updates. This means that the art of conversation lost and intimacy becomes a thing of the past.
Going on a date recently was the real eye opener. Cameron and I always leave our phones on the restaurant table incase of an emergency but these are left untouched. We spend the time focusing on each other and catching up on anything that we may not have discussed via text or call during the week (we used to rarely see each other, now we live together). This appears to not be the case with a lot of people. We were shocked at how many people we saw sat there with friends/family/partner, not talking and sitting on their phones constantly. The cinema is not an escape from technology either; not only am I forever seeing the dull glow of the screen as a viewer looks at the messages and Facebook but the cinema seem to have accepted this. At the beginning of the film the cinema challenges the audience to a trivia question in order for them to win prizes. Whilst this is a good marketing strategy, I do feel a little cheated of the cinema experience.
Social networking is not all that bad. It has expanded the way we communicate; making it faster, easier and more cost effective to speak to people all across the world. I have a pen pal account where, on a day to day basis, I can talk to people from overseas with the click of a button (although I prefer snail mail). It is also a way to keep in touch with people for those who can not afford to buy stamps etc. Whilst the method of communication is expanding, I do feel the personal touches of traditional mail is lost to the clinical feel associated with technology. The generation of today will rarely feel the excitment of recieving a handwritten letter from someone – a text is just not ths same.
Due to complications of moving, I am without internet at home until 30th April, the change in productivity is apparent. I wake up in the morning and spend time getting the flat tidy or lunch prepared for work – this morning I went to the gym for two hours- and I talk more to my other half. We always sit at the kitchen table and actually talk, a novelty that had started to wear off with us as we shared the latest slogan covered picture together.
Work is not any different. On the weekends, with lack of managerial supervision, the phones come out and productivity is markably reduced.
So I am setting myself a challenge – 40 days with no social networking – only using internet to blog and email. How hard can it be?