The Impact of Technology on Social Skills
The world of technology has changed drastically in the past decade. From the rise of smart phones and the internet of things, the impact of technology has reached into nearly every sector of modern life – including the way we interact with each other. As technology continues to advance, it is important to consider the effects it has on our social skills.
Positive Impact of Technology
There are several ways in which technology can be beneficial for developing social skills:
- Connecting With Loved Ones – One of the major benefits of technology is its ability to keep us connected to loved ones who are miles away. Through video chat, email and other forms of communication, we can stay in contact with friends and family, no matter the distance.
- Helping Shy People Connect – For those who are naturally shy, technology can be a great way to interact with others without having to engage in direct and intimidating face-to-face conversations. From online forums and social media to video chat, there are a variety of ways to interact with those who share similar interests and ideas.
- Enabling Occasional Interaction – Technology is great for maintaining relationships with people who don’t live close by and those you don’t necessarily see on a regular basis. Regular communication through text and video chat can prevent relationships from drifting.
Negative Impact of Technology
On the flip side, technology can also have a negative impact on social skills:
- Reducing Our Ability to Communicate – Over-reliance on technology can reduce the ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally. This can lead to a decrease in confidence and interpersonal skills, as people become less able to communicate in a more traditional, face-to-face setting.
- Isolating of Individuals & Families – Technology can be isolating, as people spend far more time interacting with the digital world instead of their loved ones. This can lead to a disconnect between family members, which can have long-lasting effects.
- Pause of Common Courtesy – Since technology often allows us to be anonymous, it can also lead to a lack of etiquette and/or respect towards others. People may forget the importance of using polite language, taking turns in conversation, and being aware of other people’s feelings.
The Key to Balance
As with most things in life, the key to a healthy balance between technology and social interaction is moderation. While technology can be beneficial for keeping us connected, it is important to take breaks and make time for real-world social interaction. If technology is used as a way to supplement real-world interaction, as opposed to replacing it, it can be a great tool for furthering social skills.