10/19 Does Technology Make Us More Alone?/Text or Talk: Is Technology Making You Lonely? – Cherry

In both articles Does Technology Make Us More Alone? and Text or Talk: Is Technology Making You Lonely?, Michael Goncharand Margie Warrelltalk about the popular topic about technology and loneliness.

First article discussed the smartphone-obsessed culture. There are many quotes from different people, and I had strong impression towards this one, stating that “I think if one person is staring at their phone, everyone else tends to do it, whether it be self consciously or just in order to avoid an awkward situation”. For me, if people around me were playing with their phones, I would do that too. The reason is definitely to avoid this awkward situation. If my family go out to have a dinner, my mother would require me as well as my father do not play with the smartphone. On the other hand, some people may like online communication. There is one person mentioned that she is a shy person, so she does not enjoy talking to people face to face. Therefore, although in most situations, technology may extend the distance from people, some may get benefits from that.

The second article had the similar topic, but except discussing the problem, it also provided 7 strategies for building a real social network, which might be very helpful. The author mentioned that in social networking, especially online, “quantity doesn’t equal quality”. When people build expansive social networks online, the depth of networks offline may decrease. I was surprised when I read that a lot of people only had one confidant. I agree the author’s idea that “digital communication can never replace in person, face-to-face, contract in building relationships – personal and professional”. I have interviewed a person for my other class, and her first language is not English. She is not good at English, and she said that having a face-to-face communication made her feel safe and comfortable, comparing to have a phone call or other methods. Eye contact and non-verbal expression help people communicate and better understand each other. Would like to conclude in the sentence “We have to learn how to use it well, and not let it use us”.


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