Jun 28, 2011

Technology has made the world smaller but put an end to meaningful communication. Do you agree?

by Sarah Fariduddin

The faster the means of communication, the more meaningless they grow. Indeed getting in touch is only a click away but emotions have lost their role in most part.

As our individual lives get busier, and we get even more engrossed in urselves, many would argue that advancing technology has maintained relationships and connections through the telephone, cellular phone and most importantly the internet. Television and multimedia has enabled viewer’s world over to obtain information of the social and political ongoing of the remotest areas. Networking websites like Orkut and Facebook have reunited long lost friends and help keep hundreds of friends updated with the most trivial and tiniest details of life through virtual socialization, many lonely hearts have claimed to find solace as they come to develop a sense of belonging through the constant comments and ‘likes’. To what extent is this sense of belonging is true and how strongly we empathize with a tragic piece of news on the television is a point worth consideration.

Pressing a few keys enables us to hear the voice of a close one but the small time allotted to such a telephonic conversation limits the understanding of complex feelings of the person at the other end. Simply hearing the voice is not enough to completely develop a connection. Spending time in person and a face-to-face conversation is the key to understanding a person completely. Though easy, this one phone call does not develop the emotional support and mutual trust that a physical interaction does. As phone calls have been alternated with the option of a voice message, communication has message in
the briefest way possible.

As few people realize social networking is actually lass about connecting, it is more about the self. Constant status updates and posting albums and links that only express oneself further is rather a way of getting your own message across rather than understanding the others. Moreover, the constant response to these is an addictive proof of being noticed. Rather than limiting a strong, emotional bond to a tight group of five, social networking throws us into an abyss of  hundreds of “well-wishers”, or rather acquaintances than friends. Posting the most personal feelings or conversations make it vulnerable to the eyes of a great many acquaintances. An equally personal and heart-felt response is highly unlikely from the audience thereby resulting in greater detachment and declining sympathy. The purpose of a loyal, everlasting bond is ultimately lost here.

Not only says so a critic but recent research conducted by sociologists has concluded that social networking in fact renders one lonelier.

Getting in touch with those living thousands of miles away, across the other end of the world has indeed been blessed by the likes of instant messengers and video conferencing software but yet again such speedy interactive methods keep emotional attachments, mutual understandings at bay unless it is only a business contract that needs approval. Indeed the E-generation has thrust business and trade into a golden era but it is worth remembering that personal emotions play no part in a business deal.

The simplification of technology unfortunately is not simplifying the complex nature of a human being. Human beings are in fact complicated creatures and like any being require looking after. This sets us off into a quest of emotional support. Quick, snappy ways of communication are not helping to solidify this support but only weakening these fragile bonds further as lesser time and attention is given.

As television channels and other media multiply, a vaster array of information is displayed for us to choose from. It is not unusal to receive sermonizing anecdotes or discriminating jokes through a single sms. Control over information is also weakening as is the sensitivity to others’ values and feelings. A selfish, fanatic would not consider twice before forwarding a message brazenly slandering a bold actress or mocking a universal ethnicity. Indeed freedom of expression is like sms or email become simpler and more liberated, the minimum amount of thought is put into constructing them. Instead of being utilized for constructive, educative purposes, cheaper and improved means of communications are being used more for the proliferation of conspiracies, gossips and non-sensical trivia. Greater accessibility has lead to inefficient monitoring of such forms of communication while more and more people continue to waste time clicking away on their latest, fanciest, cellular gadgets.

It is detail and time that develops everlasting connections. Unfortunately the latest means of communication are thriving by eliminating exactly these aspects of communication. Such bridges built on precarious foundations are unlikely to last for long and hence highly unlikely to possess any meaning.


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