How technology has impacted the way we work and interact with others?

By Mégane Voirol

While technology has become omnipresent in our modern society, as the pace of life is constantly increasing and people’s expectations are becoming higher. Indeed, with the increasing proliferation of the internet, mobile devices, computers, and the different digital media platforms, people anticipate quicker answers and high-quality content. A few generations ago, the only way of communication was face-to-face or by sending a letter, which could be taking months before an answer. People are now expecting to get an answer between 5 minutes to 1 hour before getting upset, which is unbelievable if you think about how technology has changed the fabric of our society. Social media has definitely decreased the lapse of time between receiving and responding, making the population impatient.

Becoming not the exceptions but the rule:  smartphones first thing in the morning and the rest of the day continually being on devices (for personal and professional use). Everyone is now browsing, messaging, sharing and friending. Indeed, according to a survey from Nielsen, an average American would spend more than 11 hours on social media and more than the half of this time on smart devices. Technology has altered the way we communicate with each other in ways that can be hard to understand. Although digitalization allowed to connect with people across the globe, there is also a sense of disconnection. If all your attention is on your devices, then it is not concentrated on the immediate world and you might miss something.

Technology (It) interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone. By Steven Spielberg (founder of the “new Hollywood era” and co-founder of DreamWorks Studios). 

For many, technology facilitates relations and communication. As the society adapts to these changes, others argue that digitalization threatens many aspects of how people connect and relate on a more personal level. Undeniably, every new research from Pew Research Center shows increasing numbers of people connecting, whereas in 2018, 75% of Americans had smartphones. It has become easy to fill the gaps of our time with technology, as we have access to it very quickly.

Yet, even those not always on their devices may be interrupted by a notification on their phones, or computers that will for sure capture their attention away from their current occupation, which can be annoying while interacting with other people. Distraction is one of the biggest problems of technology. Moreover, these notifications and devices make people distracted and isolated. Although the number of interactions has increased, it does not mean that they are all of quality and of importance. Conversation through social media might be more superficial than through face-to-face. The difference between online relationships through social media such as Facebook or Instagram and interaction “with people in the physical world is clearly vast.”

“Some individuals develop problematic or addictive-like use of devices, to the extent that their overuse begins to take a toll on their lives and their relationships“. By Brandon McDaniel 

Discussions have become easier, as well as confrontation and dispute, through the Internet, than uncomfortable face-to-face. Indeed, messages through Internet show fewer emotions and is an easier way to transmit difficult messages, as we might have the illusion of doing less harm. However, it is also a way to bring confusion as the message can be understood in different ways through the Internet than by in-person conversation.  Moreover, people will say things through message that they would have never dared to say in reality. Whereas, according to Psychology Today, face-to-face conversation result in more favorable outcomes and provide opportunities for personal growth, as all the non-verbal communication, such as expression and body language, is missing.

“Technology has forever changed the world we live in. We’re online, in one way or another, all day long. Our phones and computers have become reflections of our personalities, our interests, and our identities. They hold much that is important to us.” James Comey (American Lawyer and director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017). 

Thus, the research aims to understand if technology brings us closer together or further apart and in how this affects relations with others. The article will process with interviews and survey of a sample of students (18-30), adults (+30) and younger population (10-18years).

While understanding how technology affect the way we interact, very few people would disagree with the notion that technology has also dramatically changed the educational and learning process. Technology has indeed changed education in terms of space, time and potential.

Many academics will consent that the real impact is multifaceted and complex because of this world of multi-media resources, making it easier to make quantitative research, however not necessarily always research of quality.