You’re sitting at a table in a restaurant with your family. Your parents discuss the menu but you’ve tuned them out because you’re listening to your iPod. Instead of getting together in person with your friends, you catch up with each other through e-mails, blog entries, or text messages.

Is the time you spend connected to an iPod or a computer taking away from personal relationships?

Some say technology allows teens and adults to isolate themselves, both in public and private spaces, into a sort of bubble or cocoon.

When you plug in your iPod, for example, you shut out the world. You don’t hear someone say hello on the street, or a cashier calling over and over, “Next!” as you wait in line at a store.

But many people believe technology enhances their lives. An iPod provides a virtually endless, personal soundtrack for experiencing the world. And the Internet is invaluable for doing research, corresponding, sharing photos, and paying bills. Perhaps people speak less to their neighbors, but they “chat” with others thousands of miles away, on computers in foreign countries.

Take a moment to contemplate the effects of technology on society. What do you think? Is technology isolating us from each other?

blake seitz
(Photo: Courtsey of Blake Seitz)

YES

Blake Seitz, 15
Coppell, Texas

Excessive use of electronics can severely hamper teens’ social skills, most importantly their ability to communicate with adults and peers.

Why talk to someone face to face when you can just write them an e-mail?Communication is the key to relationships, and relationships are key in life.

Multitasking is another problem. Listening to your friend while tapping out a text message, reading an instant message, and listening to music—in my opinion, that’s a recipe for relationship disaster.

 

 

holly sumner
(Photo: Courtsey of Holly Sumner)

NO

Holly Sumner, 12
Webster Groves, Missouri

Technology does not isolate people. You can contact friends even if they are thousands of miles away. Video games are often designed to let four players participate at once.

Internet games allow online play with friends all over the world. You could have friends in China, Japan, and Australia all playing at once. Without technology, this would be impossible. Also, e-mail is very convenient when you have to talk to someone fast. Actually, you may communicate more often.