Technology and Social Isolation

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Technology has significantly altered the way people work and interact with one another. Internet consumers nowadays spend less time eating, watching TV, and communicating with family members. There is no denying that technology is a strong weapon. However, as with all other social breakthroughs, there are both expected and unwanted beneficial effects. Experts studying the unintended negative implications discovered a connection between social alienation and technology, a discovery that has sparked controversy in various parts of society. Technology users, particularly internet users, spend the majority of their time shopping online, communicating, surfing the web, and playing games. Unfortunately, every minute spent on the internet is time borrowed from another activity. As much as the internet has improved our lives, it has also restricted social interactions. The world is more connected and people in different corners of the world can communicate within a few seconds. Nevertheless, people spend less time with those they care about and dedicate the majority of their time building superficial relationships with those they do not know personally. With regards to social interaction, quantity has replaced quality. The future does not hold a lot of promise with sophisticated technology expected to be introduced. People will be working from home, reducing the time for social interaction in the office as it has traditionally been practiced. The majority of people will be glued to their phones, computers, and other gadgets, a vice that could completely wipe out face-to-face interactions and promote social isolation. The technology is undoubtedly the ultimate isolating tool that reduces the participation of humans in the community and the development of real-life relationships.

Benson, V., & Morgan, S.J. (2015). Implications of social media use in personal and professional settings. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Implications of Social Medial Use in Personal and Professional Settings investigates the paradox of social media not only in our personal life, but also in our places of work. It introduces a new trend in the use of social media technologies and demonstrates the advantages and disadvantages it can offer to its users. The information contained in the chapters of the book is aimed at serving different purposes. The book’s in-depth discussion of various issues on how social media influences firms, the tourism industry, students, and higher education organizations makes it valuable to the thesis.

The book would be suitable for professionals engaged in the higher-education sector and lecturers who are willing to embrace new technology yet are unaware of privacy concerns, legal implications, and challenges of integrating the phenomenon in classrooms. The authors have systematically arranged each component of the subject, described areas where social media is applied, and discussed both the advantages and limitations of social media. One of the authors, Vladlena Benson, is an associate professor who teaches Information Management Strategy in Russia and the UK. The other author, Stephanie Morgan, is an associate Dean at Kingston University and is a renowned publisher of educational and business journals. Their vast experience and qualifications make their research credible and reliable to users. The book would be useful in determining how social media contributes to social isolation among students in institutions of higher learning and the society as a whole.

Microsoft Attention Spans. (2015) (1st ed.). Retrieved from https://advertising.microsoft.com/en/.../microsoft-attention-spans-research-report.pdf

According to the Microsoft Attention Spans report, the digital lifestyles of Canadians is altering the brain functions, increasing the appetite for even more stimuli, and decreasing the ability to focus for a long period of time. According to the report, the major factors that affect attention are social media usage, multi-screening behavior, media consumption, and technology adoption rate. Canadians generally struggle to maintain their attention and this has had an influence on the work-life balance, particularly on the media and tech savvy consumers. The research was conducted by Microsoft, a reputable company in the technology industry, in 2015.

The report will be an added value to the thesis, as it will enrich the argument on the effects that technology has on attention span. Specifically, it will address how web browsing, technology adoption, and social media usage erodes the long-term focus of a person to the extent that they can not have meaningful relationships. Additionally, the article asserts that consumers need shareable and entertaining content in order to focus their attention for prolonged periods of time.

Townsend, P. (2017). Dark side of technology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

According to the book, technological advancement has its undesirable results. Technology creates outcomes that range from bizarre to humorous and even extents to situations that threaten the existence of human beings. There are cases where technological progress can be positive while there are instances where it can be negative and isolating. Advances occur across all areas of life and science and the scope is huge: from electronics to global economy, from medicine and biology to agriculture. Additionally, reliance of technology is now matched by vulnerability to natural occurrences that could greatly affect even the most developed societies by destroying power grid distribution or satellites. Similarly, the progress in technology has led to an increase in cyber terrorism and cyber-crime. Technology in the medical field has saved lives, but has also caused mutagenic changes because of creation of a food economy through devastation of the environment to support an overwhelming human population. The book has a diverse coverage and is meant for an intelligent and non-scientific readership.

The author, Peter Townsend, is recognized writer who has published several works that are used in various institutions. His book is recent and incorporates the latest downside of technology in the current environment. The source will be crucial in developing background knowledge on the positive and negative effects of technology in the different spheres of life.

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.

In the book Alone Together, Shery Turkle explores the power of the new tools and toys that have suddenly changed our lives. In this case, social media is the technology that is regarded as human contact, where people find it easy to engage with one another and also avoid people at the same time. It is an exploration of what human beings desire in a world where electronics are our companion and social networking – our default hobby. The credibility of the book is evident, as the author, Sherry Turkle, is a professor at MIT and has been awarded for her efforts in the field of psychology.

Sherry Turkle has extensively talked about social media as the new companion of people. Her works can be used in exploring social media and how people spend a lot of time building superficial bonds instead of building valuable real-life relationships. Furthermore, it will be used to reflect on the deceptive nature of social media where people only share their good moments, therefore, causing a vicious cycle that kills any sense of vulnerability and genuine experiences.

Vroon, D. (2009, May/June). The distracted generation victims of technology. American Record Guide, 72(3).

In the article, Vroon discusses how technology has had a vast influence on the consumers. Vroon asserts that technology kills conversation among people, isolates people, and encourages sedentary behavior. He further adds that technology, specifically television, has been responcible for controlling the thoughts of people, destroying attention spans, increasing the appetite for junk food, and creating passivity. He believes that time-saving technologies are actually adding to the habit of wasting time. He further assures readers that creating a valuable friendship in the U.S at the moment is impossible because the majority of the people are too distracted and consumed in their technological devices to having meaningful relationships. The author, Richard Vroon, is a known American music critic and chief editor who has worked in print media – American Record Guide. His article was published in 2009 and addressed the current influences that people using technology face.

The thesis can borrow from this work a lot, particularly from the areas where the journal addresses the issue of social isolation. Issues such as destruction of attention span, creation of passivity, and effects on conversation addressed in the journal can be used to strengthen the argument that technology is the ultimate cause of social isolation in today’s society.

References

Benson, V., & Morgan, S. J. (2015). Implications of social media use in personal and professional settings. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Microsoft Attention Spans. (2015) (1st ed.). Retrieved from https://advertising.microsoft.com/en/.../microsoft-attention-spans-research-report.pdf

Townsend, P. (2017). Dark side of technology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.

Vroon, D. (2009, May/June). The distracted generation victims of technology. American Record Guide, 72(3).

October 20, 2022
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