At the moment of writing this article I have been here, in IE university, for 40 days. I have had good conversations, I have had awkward silences, I have had conversations that I find boring and some that I never want to end. I have also had the times when no conversation is needed; it is just good as it is. I believe that those are the moments we are living for. The moments that you don’t need to talk, the moments of purity. And those moments are easy to lose. I have often found myself really happy, enjoying the moment, but when I would look around – everyone has somehow managed to take out their phones.
There are many good things that come hand-in-hand with technology. Let’s admit – texting is the convenient option to inform someone about little things that are not worth calling for. The things we read online can often spark up our interactions with others in the „real life”. It makes it easy to find people with similar interests using social networks. It allows shy and introvert individuals to find a space to express themselves with bigger confidence. And most importantly, it helps us to keep in touch with the loved ones we have left in another city, country or continent.
On the other hand, there is so much to lose. With being online we often lose things that happen in the real life. The land of perfect conversation doesn’t exist, but it could be a better place if we had more of face-to-face interaction. And the unavoidable awkward silence can be an encouragement to raise a new argument instead of getting out our smartphones. I believe that technology is affecting our social skills, sometimes even our argumentation skills as it is possible to find every piece of information online. And it is affecting how we deal with solitude.
If you have gotten this far through this article, I would like to tell you that the point of this is not to judge or try to change the society in IE. The aim is to encourage you to observe – how many times you recognise a situation when more than half of the people are busy with the technology? How often everyone from the group is? It is interesting to see, but very hard to avoid. Trust me, I have tried.
The very last thing – imagine going to a music concert, and imagine watching the same concert live on your laptop. The feeling is not the same, because there is no technology that fully captures what it is to be human. The goal of the usage of technology is not to move away from society – we can ship out sometimes, because we all need to, as long as we come back. Technology is useful to facilitate social processes, but not the reason to move away from them.