Is technology making us anti-social: a reprise

Hi all! Me again, busily trying to catch up on this week’s posts!

In this post I wanted to again examine the idea of whether or not technology is making us anti-social. This is a question that often plagues me. Apparently though it’s not just me; i’ve seen a number of posts over the last few weeks talking about the same issue. For example, check out this post.

According to a recent study performed by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA), most children and teens spend 75 percent of their waking lives with their eyes fixed on a screen. The study also found that students who unplugged their electronic devices for one 24-hour period felt extremely lonely and didn’t know how to fill their time. – (See more here). That’s crazy right?

This article also offers an interesting argument for the correlation between technology and an anti-social society. For instance, the author states that “Being 20-years old, my relationship with technology developed unusually late for my generation, and now even 10-year-olds have all this technology and more, which affects the way they socialize now and how they will as adults. Walking around a public place is like travelling through a sea of cell phones and iPods. People travel cell phone in hand and headphones in. No one seems to have their hands free anymore; they are constantly busy with something. I have to admit, I am guilty of this myself. When I am by myself in a public place, I feel obligated to pull out my cell phone and look like I am doing something rather than just standing there.” This is something that I can definitely relate too. I have to admit that I am just as lost without my laptop, internet and phone as the next person. I think that even though ICTs can be a powerful tool in the classroom and in life, it is still vitally important to remember that:

Verbal communication is essential to human development, but nonverbal communication, or body language, reveals even more about a person’s emotions. Without enough face-to-face communication, these nonverbal cues are unable to develop properly, skewing children’s relationships with others as they grow up in a technology-inclusive society.

This is an interesting video that shows both sides of the argument.

Gotta run but please let me know your thoughts on this topic!

Happy studying!

Kate

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