“There’s nothing wrong with technology. What’s wrong is how it’s being used (or abused). Some people can be ennobled by technology, I fear that most people are controlled by it” said Michael G. Murdock, a history professor at BYU-Hawaii who is a self-proclaimed pessimist.
Selu ‘Ita, a freshman from Nevada studying biomed sciences, said she understands why communication through ways beside face-to-face interaction is preferable to our generation. “When it’s not face to face interaction, your immediate response isn’t demanded. You can go back and revise what you want to say. We are losing our ability to think on our feet and this is a problem for us socially and when we head out to the workplace.”
Trevor Hansen, a senior from Utah studying business said, “Being on your phone can detract from the quality of face to face interactions.” He said being on your phone while another person is talking to you could give the impression that you’re not listening.
‘Ita said, “Walking around with headphones in sends the message of “don’t talk to me.” We feel alone but then again we are the ones separating ourselves.”
Murdock said, “Cellphones allow us to connect with anyone in real time no matter where we are in the world. However, because of this, we sacrifice the relationships we have with the people in real places. Cell phones are another step towards humanity losing its humanity.
Kailey Trussel, a junior from Washington studying psychology said, “Impressionable moments contribute in the tiniest ways of you becoming a better person.” Trussel said she believes it takes more effort than scrolling through news feeds to give or receive a character changing moment from another person.
A FEW BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY
David O. Mckay said the use of technology would be used “either for the blessing or the destruction of human beings.” Brigham Young said every useful discovery has been given by direct revelation from God. David A. Bednar in the 2014 BYU Provo devotional said “all of these advancements are part of the Lord hastening his work in these latter days."
Hansen said, “social media makes it so much easier to reach out to people you don’t know but you want to know. It’s easy to get into contact with influencers, or people who have large followings. All you need to know is their name.
“I was selling a product on Amazon and there was a blogger I really wanted to contact. I messaged her on Facebook and it worked. Social media gives you a more public voice.”
THE DISCOMFORT OF SOCIAL SITUATIONS
Trussel said, “There is this level of discomfort that people have to go through in order to connect with others. Our parents seem to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable in social situations. That is where connecting conversations come from. Our generation interprets our personal discomfort as being socially awkward or dislikable.
“You get to know yourself and others through those uncomfortable times. Our parents have been trained on how to do this because they didn’t have phones or screens to serve as a distraction in social situations. It was a part of their personal development as they grew up and I’m afraid our generation is losing those skills.”
Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and Ted Talk speaker said, “conversation takes place in real time and you can’t have complete control over what you talk about.” She said the little sips of conversation we get through typed out messages don’t allow us to really know and come to understand each other.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Turkle said we need to listen to each other even if it’s boring. “Its when we stumble, or hesitate, or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other.”
To check how much time is being spent on a device, go to settings then click on battery. If it is an apple device, the programs will appear in the order of which ones are used the most often. It will also show how much time was spent in each app in the last twenty four hours or week.
Watch Sherry Turkle's Ted Talk here. https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together?language=en