a special feature from Kay Ziplow and Leslie Zinberg, founders
The whirlwind of technology has come into our lives more and more prominently. Every day we face new ways to get information and communicate. Technology has changed the way we correspond with each other and face life’s tasks. And, without a doubt the loss of interaction has affected us now and will continue to do so in the future. New innovations are piloted every day in a desperate attempt to see what the masses will buy- tools to make our daily lives easier to live.
As we age, we encounter physical changes that affect the quality of our lives. We can’t see or hear as well without assistance, or we may lose some of our taste, smell, and touch sensitivity. Companies who develop products like smartphones, tablets, computers, and other technological products are best-served to consider these changes in the design of their products.
There is no denying the internet has had a positive impact on human communication. Compared to pre-internet times, we are now more connected than ever before! With that said, here are some of the ways technology has had a positive effect on social interaction.
Instant global communication- Most of us now have the means to contact people on the other side of the world immediately. No waiting for the postman, messenger pigeon, or message in a bottle—technology has broken down the communication barriers that distance once presented. It is a phenomenon that is commonly referred to as globalization.
Virtual connections- Video calling apps like Skype and Zoom mean people now experience emotional connections without having to be in the same room. This has been especially important throughout the coronavirus crisis, where families from separate households were forced to stay apart. And, it continues to be a wonderful tool for long-distance grandparenting.
Online dating- (yes for the boomers too!) Technology has also made finding love much easier, with online dating increasing in popularity. A report released last year predicted that more than 50% of couples will meet online by 2035. The same report found 47% of people believe online dating makes it easier for introverted people to find love.
Barrier-free interaction- Similarly, people who would otherwise have limited social interaction now have the option to be part of online communities. People with disabilities can forget about their physical boundaries inside a video game universe, while socially anxious people can gain confidence by practicing interaction over the internet instead of face to face. Sending messages allows people the time to process information and formulate a response, whereas face to face is more immediate. On the other hand, this isn’t always a good thing.
Yes, this changing environment is a positive action for us all- we just need to stay informed. And…we must be sure to use the internet with caution. Most importantly, it is our responsibility to ensure that we still get enough real-life human contact in our day to day lives.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions in order to keep up with this evolving landscape we live in. The current pace of digitization is astonishing… it gives new meaning to living in the fast lane.
*Portion of article reprinted from: https://www.sogosurvey.com/blog/how-has-technology-affected-social-interaction/