An interesting topic that arose during this module is the impact of technology on our lives. Whilst doing research on this module, I have come across academic texts, articles, and Youtube videos arguing that mobile phones have a negative impact on our relationships and sense of self, and, rather than improving the way we communicate, technology makes us selfish and separates us from the rest of the world. It is also suggested that technology has negative effects on our health, such as poor sleeping habits, neck and head pain, loss of eyesight and hearing, and stress. Kenneth Gergen (1991) described the immersion in technology as ‘social saturation’, implying that we are too consumed by technology.
However, I strongly disagree with the idea that technology has an overall negative impact on our lives. Instead of being victims of the huge developments in technology that have taken place throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, we are in fact benefactors. Digital communication has changed the nature of our social connections for the better – today, we can interact with people from across the globe, connect with more people, and strengthen our relationships through use of technology. We have been introduced to incredible new concepts that we could never have imagined even 10 years ago.
Whilst it may be true that we feel we are unable to escape from the constant call of communication, whether this be replying to a message, answering a phone call, or sending an email, overall the expansion in the abilities of interaction have had an extremely positive effect on our society. As Gergen said: ‘a new culture is in the making’ – we just need to learn how to adapt to these amazing developments.