Digital Life - How Technology Has Changed Us

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Digital Life

Every day people are hit constantly by a bombardment of online media. It used to be that people would see billboards, TV commercials and magazine, but with advancement of technology people remain wired into the internet 24/7. “Smartphones” are a great example of a device that promotes constant connections. It enables people to be connected to online media at all times. The effects that this constant connection has had on people in general are life changing. We can certainly agree that the lives of everyone who has access to these connections will change over time. The primary change that is happening in everyone’s life is the way we communicate with each other. Just 10 years ago cellphones were starting to become more and more popular. They evolved from big briefcase sized machines to something that can easily fit in your pocket. Even then though, calling someone was the primary way of communicating over distances. That has changed and is no longer the case. With advancements in Email, texting and social networking, they have all moved to a more popular position than making calls. Whether people need to relay small pieces of information or have a long conversation, texting and emails tend to be what they use. While this may not seem like a big deal to most people, one can argue that it is making the people that use this form of communication over calling or face to face interaction become stumped at interacting with people and sometimes have trouble communicating face to face at all. An interesting issue connected to this is that as a result of real life communications not being a primary skill, some people resort to purely online relationships. Particularly online gamers who play games like World of Warcraft or other Massive Multi-player Online games. These relationships range from simple friendships to as far as marriages which take part online entirely, but sometimes turns into something in the physical world. There have actually been many cases of people who met playing games online, then decided to meet in real life and ended up getting married. While the presence of online dating has been around for a while with sites like eHarmony, these sites still primarily run on face to face interactions and people have an idea of the interests and likes of the people they attempt to form relationships with. In the worlds of online gaming, one can argue that even though it is formed by two people, it is to a great extent mostly anonymous. On eHarmony you know what the other person looks like while in online games, you only know who the other person wants to look like. The person someone falls for online can be the exact opposite of what the other person believed they were getting into. All of this stems from the fact that some people who become to accustomed to the online world and online media turn out to have severe communication issues in the real world that causes them to turn to the people they interact with online. Increasing the rate of socially inept people is not the only effect that the internet is having. Due to the massive daily usage of Social Networking websites people take part of everyday, a problem with narcissism is arising. The problem with this is that if people have problems with things like self image, they resort to these networks. Facebook promotes negative parts of the personality directly linked to disruptive forms of narcissism, which was promoted by a study done by Christopher Carpenter. The study stated that among other aspects that are promoted by online social networking, “a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others” is highly promoted. (Pearse 1) It is thus clear that there is various social problems that arise from online media, not just social ineptitude. While the previous drawbacks of the connected world were looking at the social sense, something occurs in the person that hurts their sense of being alone. Since people are...
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