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Methods Of Communication Have Changed

October 8, 2009
By Jamie Probst, MSW

Cell phones and the internet are a wonderful thing.

Through these developments in technology we are able to talk with people real time in the next town, or on the next continent.  We are able to stay in contact with people that, in the recent past, we would only be able to send letters and see once or twice a year.

Through peer to peer sites like Facebook and Myspace we are able to share the daily events and happenings of our lives. Big, and small. We can talk to people any time, any place.

As wonderful as this new ability to stay in touch can be, it also has many negative aspects as well. No matter where I am in the world, I hear cell phones going off. It doesn’t matter if I am in a conference, at a funeral, in line at the grocery store, or in the movie theater.

More annoying than the loud and persistent sound of a cell phone ring is the usual response, “no I’m not busy…I can talk”. You are holding up the line at the grocery store. No, you really can’t talk right now.

Every day I see people walking around with wires coming out of them and devices stuck in various parts of their bodies emitting sounds for the rest of the world to hear, even if we don’t want to.

But there’s a bigger problem here than merely being annoying.

I often feel that we are spending more time talking to the people who live far from us, than the people who are in the very same room. In fact, we spend more time talking to people on the phone and the internet than we do in real life!

We’re fast becoming a society filled with people who are quite eloquent in text and email (sometimes), but socially idiotic. We are fast losing our ability to connect with people in the real world, and quickly becoming a society filled with people who do not talk to anyone outside their own small circle of friends.

 If that is the cost of staying in touch with SOME people, count me out!

We need to start paying more attention to the people who are in the same room as us.

We need to stop confusing the idea that we see someone every day with the idea that that somehow means we are actually connecting with them each day as well. We are not doing that.

We need to active try to connect with the people in our daily lives, not just those that live in our phone and on the internet.

If we fail to do so, one day we will wake up and realize that we no longer have friends and family in the real world….only in that world that lives somewhere on the internet.


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