Touch of technology on Human Relationships
The need for orientation and control is the most fundamental of our human needs. We are living in the midst of internet revolution and entering into the era of advanced digitization. The consequent rise or increase in technology will either enhance or hinder the attachment or control in relationships. This assignment provides a very suggestive and practical perspective to the development of relationships across lifespan. The onset of technology has given us the bane of various luxuries, things which earlier took greater effort can now be finished more easily and effectively in lesser time. Our need for control is satisfied when a maximum number of options are available to us and technology has provided us with exactly the adequate options. However, often relationships are what cost us these advancements in technology. Older people express distress over the fact the youngsters can easily move their fingers on any of the latest gadgets and show off their expertise and promptness.
The generation I belong to has had the opportunity to witness the shift of centuries from 20th to the 21st and hence, has seen the world with and without technology. I was lucky enough to grow up without been keen on knowing the “WiFi” password but instead playing hide n seek or eating mud. However, the neural pathway created by our brain to understand technology is stronger than that of our parent’s generation. The nature of this article being observational and experiential I would start off by stating an instance which continues to bother one of friends .His is in his 50s and he understands that it is difficult for him to handle a few “tech” things, though he taught him how to pay bills online but my friend continues to pay them for him because it’s a hassle for him to move on from one window to the other. All he wants is it to get over at once and not create multiple dialogue boxes. My friend always tells his father that why you don’t do it on your own and make him or his sister to do it even now when he himself is aware of the process. It was easier for my friend and his sister to adopt the technological changes and be comfortable at the online domain because they were still in their developing years and how difficult could it be to learn something when a child is growing up. However the same couldn’t be applied to his parents because they had reached the middle adulthood stage by that time and without having any foundation of any sort it might have been quite difficult to adapt to these advancements.
I believe that the advent of technology has coined the term “generation gap” and hence has brought many downsides to parent-child relationships dynamics. A survey conducted on a news report suggests a generation gap exists when it comes to using online services and it has provoked some conflict between generations. While the younger generation has expressed impatience with the older generation’s resistance to adapt to the online domain, the older generation is just as bewildered by the younger lot who choose to publish/post their personal information onto the World Wide Web. It was easier for me to learn and understand the technological changes that happened because I was in my formative years of development and was still adapting and developing my convergent thinking and divergent thinking (cognitive) and social interactions skills (psycho-social). On the contrary what I have observed from my father is that he is more worried about his having wrinkly and baggy skin under his eyes than replying to people on his whatsapp contact list. We have so strongly believed in the façade of technology helping us bring people closer but what we did not realize is, it has taken relationships farther.
Just a few days back a friend shared this meme and in that moment I did not realize as to what it actually means but it had appeared very clear to me once and read through it. This comic strip shows a man who lit the world’s first fire and ended up burning his face with the same. This made me realize that although the world of technology looks glamorous to the naked eye (ignorant people) but upon taking a closer look we can clearly see our flaw in making it an instrument that renders us stagnant rather than progressed. We are too focused about going forward it’s like we are taking two steps into the future and simultaneously steeping back in the past.
Technology has pushed us to such limits that people want natural items which are now referred to as ‘genetically produced items’ and no one no longer wants to witness or take on the nature themselves. These days’ people are becoming more and more organic but no one wants to actually even think about taking up a career in the agricultural sector. Now here is where the irony lies as to humans are moving ahead in future but in that process they are ruining everything they has or nature gave them in doing so. Technology has brought us closer and helped us in ways which benefit human life but things to the extent of life-size robots as a replacement for the irregularities of Homo sapiens, I really doubt so.
I believe that the concept of ‘a family who eats together stays together’ has lost its essence due to technological changes because now the food ends up running cold at the dinner table and the kids of the house are busy checking and posting their Facebook/Instagram news feeds. Recently I came across an advertisement on TV about a ‘dust-free’ fan which made me wonder is this how far we have come to make ourselves relived from all the work which was essential to the chores of the daily household or was this where we always wished humanity to be? Albert Einstein feared the day technology would surpass human interaction because then the world would have a generation of ‘idiots’. So, are we leading to that generation or are we the very generation Einstein talked about?
As an observation, in Indian households cleaning the house on holidays is like a family activity which personally for me is a fun activity but these days I see nothing of this sort as now we have vacuum cleaners, ‘dust-free’ fans etc. which are available for our convenience but what bothers me is not the comfort but the bond being hampered which is formed and strengthened when a family works as a unit, be it for something as small as sweeping or mopping.
Technology has altered the way we classify learning we have gone from building blocks to fruit ninja and hence altering the senses we used for them respectively, an instance to support that is the time one of my aunt got a new smartphone from as a gift from her daughter to which she jumped with glee as to it was from her daughter’s saved and well-earned cash. She taught her mother how to operate it and the other functioning but somehow my aunt continues to struggle with it. Now probably my cousin is mature enough to understand that it’s ok for her to take her time with it however it seemed to have irritated my cousin to a large extent that she used to get impatient about the fact that why and how could be so difficult for anyone to operate a mobile phone. What she did not realize is the ease my aunt had on a ‘qwerty’ phone which she couldn’t find in the new virtual keypad available to her. It is easier for her to distinguish the sense or touch on different keypads of different devices but the virtual technology is something the older generation doesn’t really understand. This is because people from the older generation have always had tangibility as a part of the growing up process while the younger lot it has got to do with more of the unseen. To put it in simpler words the older generation has and continues to focus and value physical health however the younger generation has got more to do with the mental well-being. Both these aspects are right in their own way but what bridges the gap between tangibility and unseen is communication which has been lacking in relationships is far and has been compromised to a video call every two weeks.
Before the advent of Google maps and mobile technology, there were times when people used to remember phone numbers, contact numbers, birth day dates, anniversaries ad so on. The neural pathways created by the brain provided it with extra cellular brain activity which in turn gave way to better lifestyles. These days we can simply follow a map, save contacts, put birthday reminders as alarms on smartphone and what not. While one might have 500 friends on Facebook there’ll be none to have or share a heart-to-heart conversation and poses a grave question as to how many of them could you truly lean on in time of crises.
The dilemma here is that while you may have surface-level relationships with technology, you might be missing in a couple of key people in your life that can really make to you and your well-being.We all are busy with updated, uploading, sharing, texting that we have the touch of reality and that of nature. A birthday dedication on social media can and will never suffice a hug! The concept of ‘buy me’ has led to a disconnected ‘we’, all this busyness has an impact on the ‘we’ in any relationship where technology allows us to be instantly connected and tuned-in at all times to others. Relationships and bonds are what will give us warmth and comfort when we are old and wrinkly and not the so-called known friend you never met.
With all the advances in technology to help us communicate faster, cheaper and clearer, more and more people are lonely and isolated than ever.I think technology is a great connection facilitator and it has certainly promoted our desire for gratification and the need for fast and immediate satisfaction. However, though it is efficient it has taken the humane away from the human .
Hence even though we can communicate at the speed of light ,we as human beings might need more time to work out what we want and how we want it, so the real question is how connected are we with ourselves and our loved ones? Are we taking the human race further into the future as advanced beings or way stepping back into the past to being primitive mammals who are dependable in someway or other?