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Connected Online, But Not With Each Other

By Kayla Menkes

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Groupme, Youtube. In today’s society, these names have become more than just apps. They have become parts of our lives. It is no news that electronic devices have become imperative in the daily routines of children, teenagers, and adults. While electronics bring many advancements to our world today, they are taking away from relationships we build with each other. Many high schoolers are familiar with the following scenario: a group of friends goes out to dinner to eat. These friends are having fun, smiling, and laughing, but not with each other. Their enjoyment is coming from the 6×3 inch tablet they have not let go of since they sat down. Unfortunately, this is an extremely common scenario that occurs way too often. Although sending a quick text appears to be a good fix for many communication problems, it can also have the opposite effect.

According to The Lance, “Studies have shown that it makes it difficult for students who rely so heavily on technology to actually communicate to adults in person because they don’t quite develop all of the necessary skills to hold or even start a face-to-face conversation.” The increased texting and online chatting is giving phone-users the opportunity to bypass the face-to-face interactions that are crucial to forming bonds with other people. Another situation many students can relate to is when a concern about a grade becomes present. A popular approach to fixing this issue would be resorting to an email written to the teacher stating the student’s concern. However, if the matter cannot be fixed in an email, it may be necessary to speak to the teacher face-to-face.

This is when the lack of social experience comes in as a major negative. Teenagers may not know how to handle themselves when having a conversation such as this one, and they may feel nervous and uncomfortable. The growing problem in society is that people are become exceedingly dependent on technological devices to communicate. This is causing individuals to lose, or not ever develop, social skills needed for successful relationships with other people.

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