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The Dysfunction Of Technology

Updated on April 12, 2012

Technology has brought us many great things but at the expense of alienating our family and relationship with friends.

We think we have meaningful conversation but they are more and more becoming texts, online comments and emails.


Dysfunction in the younger generation

In the 80’s and 90’s our schools started a program making sure kids felt important. When awards were given out everyone got something even if it was a piece of paper because she had the most freckles or skipped rope the most times in a row.

That seemed like a good idea to build up children’s self esteem but I think it was a precursor to the young adults today that are so afraid of rejection they would rather have mechanical friends than real people.

I wonder too if it is why we have more and more children committing suicide from bullies. You never heard about such things in the 70’s and yes we had mean kids that picked on others. When you are used to ridicule and people not liking you I think you develop a thick skin.

Disclaimer:

I'm not condoning bullying or allowing a child to be bullied I'm simply making an observation.


People would rather text or email

When I type, I can edit, when I edit no one sees the real me.

This is the general consensus of young adults and even some older people today.

At parties, over at a friend’s house or at the mall, they are never without their phones and they are not paying attention to each other. They are texting, tweeting and surfing the Internet. What is really strange is sometimes they are texting the person sitting right next to them. I’m not talking about a boring lecture or church where they have to be quiet, I’m talking about on the couch at home.

Without having one on one conversation with each other we never truly get to know that person. We are all flawed unique individuals but if we only see the edited version we are missing the whole picture. People are boring; we get angry and we say things we shouldn’t but it’s all part of each of us as humans.


Technology is the current drug of choice

Just as habit forming as cigarettes or alcohol, people can’t seem to live without their cell phones and social media. If a person leaves the house without their phone, they’ll panic and drive ten miles back home to retrieve it.

A few decades a go we didn’t even have cell phones but now days we can’t be found without our smart phone attached to our hands.


Build a friend or lover

It gets worse… now not only are we not really communicating with each other but we are creating robots that can fulfill our wishes instead of risking denial or rejection from our peers.

We are so afraid of conflict and having to talk to someone face to face that we are making artificial people to take the place of a lover or a friend.

If you don’t believe me look on YouTube at the men with Real Dolls. He can have one built to his personal specifications from hair color, ethnicity, specific body parts and height. Some of you women are creeped out while some of you guys are reaching for your credit cards.

Those willing to spend quite a bit more can get a robot that can talk, nod her head in agreement and even do simple household chores. What more could a man want? Perhaps a warm body?

We are lonely but we are afraid of intimacy.


Artificial love is a poor substitute

We are reaching out to cyber space and fake people to fulfill our needs instead of talking to those in the same room with us. Video games with avatars acting out our fantasies replace real life. We can be anyone we want without the work.

No amount of chatting online is an acceptable replacement for human contact.

There is this desire to be heard at all times, to feel important. When we text or tweet online we have put our voice out into the universe for many to hear. It’s a sense of belonging but no real connection.


How can we change?

Here at my house we sit down at the dining room table together to have meals and my kids aren’t allowed to bring their smart phones with them. I know, that’s so 1950’s but it’s what we do; we learn about each other and we actually talk.

There is nothing wrong with smart phones or the Internet but when you are connected all of the time you miss out on important conversations with your family and friends. You need to communicate in person to learn this skill.

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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Credence, there was a story on the news just last night about how kids today aren't making eye contact often enough and are losing the ability to learn social cues. Our kids are losing the ability to communicate face to face.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 

      6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Great article, Pamela, I notice on some of the blogs how people can become so uncivil, the fact that do not have to communicate face to face is a license to say the most vile of things over virtually every issue.

      You do have a point, I never, ever knew a kid that would commit suicide over a bully. The technology has a detaching effect within the human family. Human or face to face contact is discouraged in the online marketing business, perhaps it is easier to rip someone off, if you cannot really identify he or she? Interpersonal skills that will ultimately determine our survival are left by the wayside. We are all being softened for the world of "big brother" that is coming....

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      tillsontitan, I have noticed that too. People can be really rude online and think they can get away with it. Only time will tell what the future holds.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      This hub rings true on so many levels! Our children are becoming so dependent on their cell phones that they are culturally deprived. They don't know how to act in polite society and I believe the increase in bullying is due to the ability to hide behind technology. You can be meaner and get away with it when no one sees your face! How like the human race to take a good thing and turn it into something bad. Voted your hub up, interesting and useful!

    • Sandy Frost profile image

      Sandy Frost 

      6 years ago from India

      Definitely true, Pamela. Technology has it's both contradictory sides. When it is used in some moderate and righteous way, it is a boon but when in an unrestraint way, it may act like a curse.

      Whether it is too much texting habits on mobiles or a continuous routine of running bikes and chasing mafias on a game console or pc, it usually puts a person isolating from socio-culture or running him/her out of physical activities and then physical fitness. After-effects come into knowledge when limits are crossed.

      You've excellently analysed this good topic.Voted up, thank you.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 

      6 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      So true. As an older person, I am really enjoying all the new bling-blings and try to stay caught up on technology. However, NOTHING takes the place of face to face intimate interaction with the people you care about. And I make it a practice to have some of that everyday -- and any time the important others in my life can make time for it, I will, too.

      Thanks for a great hub.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      That is terrible and why it should be illegal for people to sell body parts. When those gadgets go out he'll be left with useless pieces of plastic and one less kidney.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, i love this hub BRAVO, our world has become a gadget world and we all must have all the latest gadgets.I do agree with everything you have written within this well written hub.I just read last week where a teenager in China sold his kidney so he could buy a iPad and a iPhone,i wonder what he will sell to get services for his iPad and iPhone . Some of these gadgets are crippling peoples communications skills at having a face to face talk with someone without having to use a gadget to do it.

      Vote up and more !!!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Pamela - I reckon I won't call ya. ROTLMAO

      The Frog

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      KJ, it is unfortunate that people are ignoring each other and not paying enough attention to their children.

      Frog Prince, I just got a text from my daughter at school. I am not fond of it but my kids use it all the time so I had to learn. Some plans give more minutes for text than talk time. My sons have unlimited text but only so much talk so I text them quite a bit.

      I will not answer my phone if I am talking to someone. No phone conversation is important enough to interrupt real conversation.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Pamela - I refuse to get text and the web on my phone. If any one wants to communicate with me it is usually by voice. People try to text me and I never see a word of it.

      Good analysis.

      The Frog Prince

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Pamela..you hit the nail on the head ! Has anyone been to the playground or anywhere that children gather? even at martial Arts class, parents sit texting,oblivious to their childs actions.I have heard children ask a (?)several times and got no response from parent.I have been in a conversation with people and they without hesitation answer their phone. It's becoming a VERY self-centered world..with rudeness abound...OMG what would happen if all cell technology just quit ? there would be silence galore...

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      It's nice to know it's not just me who thinks that people have become too attached to technology. I think my husband and I are the only people I know who uses uses their phone just to make phone calls.

      My oldest daughter is more into the phone thing but doesn't let it rule her life. The other two can take it or leave it. Gosh, we're a strange family.

      Anyway, I agree that all this technology is leaving people isolated and unable to relate to each other.

      Voted Up, useful and interesting.

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 

      6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Pamela, I think you are right and it is an important subject. It has come to a point that borders rudeness, people are now doing things because of technology that would get me grounded (or worst) when I was a child... picking up phone calls that last 15 minutes or so at dinner time, leaving guests alone to collect something on Farmville, calling everyone we know at midnight on new year neglecting who we're with... and I'm just mentioning behaviours I've witnessed from grown-ups... When grown-ups are setting that kind of example... I really think it's time to set some boundaries or else I don't know where we will end up. Great hub, great discussion starter. Voted up. Thanks for SHARING!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Great information and advice in this hub. We held onto our old cell phones for seven years before updating them in January. However, I do like the new smartphone and all the wonderful gadgets and conveniences of apps. We enjoy the face-to-face features. I would suggest getting a PowerMat to recharge. It does the complete recharge job in about fifteen minutes or less.

      In agreement with your hub, I would love to see families put the tech stuff away during dinner time and family times to just bond and have some old-fashioned conversation. The over stimulation of gaming, texting, etc. can cause some dysfunction in behavior. Everyone needs to balance their lives and activities to keep from becoming anti-social due to tech devices.

      Danced around to the video and Voted up!

    • Riverfish24 profile image

      Riverfish24 

      6 years ago from United States

      While I enjoy the benefits of modern technology, I do agree with you to a certain extent. I consciously make sure that when I am alone and out, I don't keep fiddling with my phone. I just sit and look around and see life as it is happening by..I TRY not to be busy or conscious :) It is OK to be just sitting idle and waiting!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Spirit you are certainly among the minority. They are a great tool but I fear they have also crippled some of us.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I don't have a mobile phone and I am now definitely in the minority and considered weird. Great hub. Thank you.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      JK, you are unusual. I just got a smart phone recently and still hardly use mine. I asked the girl how often I would need to charge it and she said at least every night and sometimes they run down and need a charge during the day. My battery stays charged two to three days so she must use hers constantly.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Interesting article Pam. I'm one of the younger generation, and yet I have a very simple cell phone - no camera, no internet, it just phones and texts and I've had it for nearly ten years. Why change something that isn't broken? Also I treat it like any other phone, I'd never dream of taking it to the dinner table. Great stuff. Voted up and shared.

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