Online Connections





Online Connections

Do you feel that the prevalence of online connecting that occurs through social networking sites, texting, IM, and email impedes our ability for face-to-face conversation? Give reasons and examples to support your position

Imagine spending an entire day without your smartphone. There would be no one to text or chat with the entire day. For some people, this might seem like an impossible option. However, it was not that long ago that people actually left their phones at home when they went to school. The advancement of technology in the recent past makes this seem like something that happened many years ago. However, less than ten years ago, many people preferred to meet and talk to each other instead of using their phones to do so. The emergence of social media and the innovative mobile digital technology changed this. It made it possible for people to connect with each other more quickly and at any time. They did not have to make any sacrifices to remain in contact with their friends. There are different social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter. In addition, people have the option of texting each other and using IM. Many young people today consider emails outdated. However, this has had a negative effect on the way people interact and relate to each other. The presence of social networking sites and the ability to text has impeded people’s ability to communicate and to have face-to-face communication

It has become the norm to see two people seated together yet they are not talking to each other. They are both looking at their phones. The two may know each other but they prefer communicating through their phones. This has become a common situation in many places today. People have lost communication skills. They can spend an entire day chatting on their phones but they cannot hold a conversation for more than ten minutes. Members of a family no longer find the time to talk to each other face to face but they can text each other even though they are in the same house (Johnson).

            Technology through online connections has made it difficult for people to develop intimate relationships. Those who spend most of their time texting and looking at the screens on their phones do not know how to express themselves emotionally. They do not know the emotions to project when they get the chance to hold face-to-face communication. This creates a disconnection between them and the person who wants to talk to them. Moreover, because of their dependence on technology, they do not know how to read body language and other non-verbal signs that are present when people are communicating face to face with each other (Johnson).

People tend to have forgotten the basic social etiquettes because of being connected to their mobile gadgets all the time. Before the widespread of social media, people would actually listen to each other during conversations and they would avoid all manner of interruptions, including making or receiving phone calls. Nowadays, things have changed. Most people do not think that they can separate from their digital devices. They will respond to emails and chats as well as send and receive texts in the middle of conversations (Cafferty). This shows the effect that online connections have had on most people.

Online connections impede people’s ability for face-to-face communication by ensuring that people have as less time for interactions as possible. The more time people spend on their phones accessing different social networking sites and chatting, the less time they will have to communicate with those around them (Eastman). When they have company, they will choose to ignore the person and instead answer the texts they receive. In the process, they rarely get the chance to discuss anything face to face. Some people have developed the skill of looking at their companions when they are texting and using the phones. They make their companions believe that they are listening to them, yet they are not. This is the case of insincere and pretentious communication and it shows how people lack essential communication skills (Turkle)

Some people prefer listening to music on their phones instead of communicating with those who are close to them. They have become afraid of communication and they wear headphones all day. This is a sign that they would rather be alone instead of socializing with others. By doing this, they discourage others to talk to them. A study conducted in Japan showed that children who have cell phones do not often make friends with children who do not have cell phones. Another study showed that about 7% of students in British colleges had lost a relationship or a job because of using their cell phones (Glaser). The constant use of cell phones has made it hard for people to know how to communicate when they are in real situations and this has cost them greatly.

Online connections complement relationships and interactions. Therefore, the idea that they impede face-to-face communication is absurd (Masket). People who communicate online are able to keep in touch with their friends and families irrespective of the distance. They get a chance to know how they are doing and they can contact them as frequently as they wish. They communicate with them as frequently as they can. People who choose to use social media and other forms of online connections frequently will rarely take the time to follow up their conversations. Such people preferred using social media in the first place because they lacked the time. Therefore, they will barely follow up what they have just texted with the people they connect with online. In addition, such people will often choose to send texts rather than call their friends (Stout). They have become less interested in communicating with others and they are just interested in knowing that they have connections.

The use of online connections has enhanced and improved communication. Many young people today find it easier to communicate and interact with their peers using online connections. They do not have to be worried about limiting factors such as image perception, which may hinder them from communicating. The use of social media enables people to interact well and it enhances their self-esteem and confidence (Steinfield, Ellison and Lampe 435). Although this is the case, the quality of relationships formed through social networking alone tends to be poor. People who choose online connections as their main source of connection and interaction with others do not have the same level of closeness as people who interact physically do. They do not develop intimacy through their contacts. Their connections do not have the same impact as physical contacts do. A person can have hundreds of connections online but may lack any meaningful connection in real life (Przybylski and Weinstein 238).

Online connections have impeded face-to-face interactions. People spend too much time on their phones that they do not have any time to interact physically with those who are close to them. Although online connections are important because they enable people to communicate, people who choose to use them often lack intimacy in their relationships. Moreover, spending too much time on online connections has prevented people from learning the essential social skills that are necessary for interpersonal relationships. Therefore, people should find a balance in terms of how they use technology and how they interact with their peers.

Works Cited:

Cafferty, Jack. “Technology Replacing Personal Interactions at What Cost?” CNN. 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Eastman, Hayley. Communication Changes with Technology, Social Media. 7 July 2013. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Glaser, Mark. “How Cell Phones are Killing Face-to-Face Interactions.” Public Broadcasting Service. 22 Oct. 2007. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Hall, Alena. “Social Media is actually making you Socially Awkward.” Huffington Post. 19 June 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Johnson, Chandra. “Face Time vs. Screen Time: The Technological Impact on Communication.” Deseret News National. 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Masket, Seth. “Don’t Fear the Network: The Internet is Changing the Way We Communicate for the Better.” Pacific Standard. 2 Jun. 2014. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Przybylski, Andrew K. and Netta, Weinstein. “Can You Connect With Me Now? How the Presence of Mobile Communication Technology Influences Face-to-Face Conversation Quality.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 30.3 (2012): 237-246

Steinfield, Charles, Nicole Ellison B. and Cliff, Lampe. “Social Capital, Self-Estee, and Use of Online Social Network Sites: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Journal of Applied Development Psychology 29 (2008): 434-445

Stout, Hilary. “Antisocial Networking?” The New York Times. 30 Apr. 2010. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight from Conversation.” The New York Times. 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2015

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