How technology is changing the way we communicate


Over the years, technology has significantly changed the way we communicate.

Writing a letter and even typing out an e-mail are becoming a thing of the past, as is, it would seem, talking on the phone and even at times, face-to-face conversation, as technology provides us with innovative ways to communicate with each other.

Technology is growing and adapting extremely quickly. It wasn’t actually that long ago when we would write a letter to loved ones abroad (as the phone bill would be astronomical!), or would speak to friends on our home phone to organise meeting up, as we couldn’t communicate once we had left the house.

Although iPad problems can put a stop to this flow of conversation in a way that putting pen to paper can’t, the introduction of smartphones and tablets, and the advancements that have quickly come with them, makes the need to write a letter seem extremely old fashioned. Not only can we now talk and text on the move, we can Whatsapp, Snapchat, write on walls, tweet, Facetime – the possibilities for communication are endless.

But as this 24/7 instant communication via technology allows us to talk to each other more, it also means we are interacting with each other less. As a result we aren’t learning communication skills, which means kids may struggle as they get older.

A lack of vocabulary, which has come about through ‘teenspeak’ such as LOL and BRB – is diminishing even further since they have been able to communicate simply with photos or emojis. Once upon a time we had to type out our feelings; today we express how we feel by inserting a *smiley face*.

As technology has allowed us alternative means of communication it has also changed the way we interact face-to-face in social situations, such as when we sit with friends and rather than speak to each other we are on our phones, scrolling through social media to see what all our other ‘friends’ are up to.

However, it would appear that teenagers are now more confident talking to each other via their smartphones, over text or social media, than traditional face-to-face conversations. Research found that young people felt having a mobile phone made them closer to their friends, with 89% saying it improved their friendship.

The study of 502 people between the ages of 12 and 21 also found that they felt safer leaving the house with their phone, with 76% saying it is because they can get hold of their parents instantly if they need to.

It has also enabled us to talk to those we would never have been able to, as well as allowing instant communication with those across the globe – no longer do we have to hand write a letter, deliver it, wait for it to be received, a reply to be written and the response to make its way back. Now, we can open Whatsapp, see our friend is online, write a message or send a photo and have a response within seconds.

With the speed at which technology is evolving, it probably won’t be long until even these forms of communication are a thing of the past, as new and inventive ways of ‘talking’ to each other become possible.

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