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Do Smartphones Connect or Disconnect People?

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We’ve all seen it – friends looking at their phones instead of looking at each other; people trying to avoid visual contact by pretending to be preoccupied with their phones, etc. Or have you ever been so caught up in clicking likes on Facebook that you’ve ignored the last 15 minutes of a conversation? We’ve all been there. And it’s fully normal. We live in the 21 century, where technology has become an integral part of our lives. We all want to keep up with the newest trends and stay up to date. But how does this affect our ways of communication?

We can all agree that technology has changed our world and has made communication easier than ever. News travels from one part of the world to the other in seconds, every person with a phone or a computer can publish content on the internet, which could reach millions of readers. But it’s not the technology itself which has altered our means of communication with others but rather our understanding of how this technology should be used.

A simple example shows how fast we’ve adopted new technology, not in order to make communication easier but rather to hide from it. Those of you who remember the bulky Nokia 8210 with its monochrome screen, plastic buttons, everlasting battery, and, of course, the snake game, probably have a different attitude toward iPhones than your teenage children. You probably still dial a number with the actual idea of talking to someone on the other side of the phone. However, what the new and fancy toys offer is a variety of ways to avoid talking to other people. You can see what other people are doing through social media applications, you can click likes and send emoticons without ever having to talk to your friends. You basically know what people are doing, who they are with and how they are feeling without ever talking to them! Ain’t that something!

So while trying to make digital communication easier, we’ve managed to make face-to-face communication harder and more awkward. As a result, we’ve become more distant and isolated, we’ve become obsessed with what other people are doing, which often makes us feel excluded and can even lead to an inferiority complex. It’s not wrong to enjoy the shiny new things on the market as long as we don’t get lost in the world of social media and applications. You always need to keep in mind that your smartphone is never going to hug you or laugh at your jokes.

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