Close your eyes for a second a think back on the fond childhood memories of a summer with no responsibilities. With a summer job still years away and high school waiting for you down the road, most of your time is spent deciding what to do with all your free time. With unlimited possibilities and all options on the table you opt for the easy, boring and predictable crime show marathon on television. An unclear amount of time has gone by when you hear your mom come through the door, home after a long day of work. “Have you been watching TV all day?? It’s a beautiful summer day! Go outside and do something with your friends, you’re wasting all your time in front of the TV!” It’s a story every kid knows too well, all you want to do is relax, but mom and dad are convinced you’re slowly wasting away with every hour you spend in front of the TV, video game system, or computer. All these years later and I only have one question, were they right? Technology has absolutely exploded in the last 20 years, 2016 is America’s most technologically advanced year to date and our country shows no sign of halting advancements. With that being said, the question is more prevalent today than ever before, is technology hurting interpersonal relationships?
According to https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201303/is-technology-creating-family-divide technology is negatively impacting families more than anyone else. Children in today’s society are immersed in technology from an extremely young age, plopped in front of the television by a tired parent and showered with gifts like gaming consoles and smartphones once gifted to “kids” ten years their senior. Children are learning how to behave (both in childhood and adult life) from the example set by sit-coms, reality and animated TV shows, and movies. One study produced findings that children fully immersed in technology did not greet/notice their parent upon return home from work 50 % of the time, and it’s clear that at the very least a child’s attention is significantly diminished when in the area of a screen, whether that be a phone, laptop, or plasma. While the explosion of technology currently happening in America is beneficial to all of society for many reasons, is it important that as a country we do not sit idly behind screens and neglect relationships with relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues, Instead, it’s important that we use recent advancements in technology to forge a stronger bond with one another, effectively using technology as a medium by which to learn, develop, and grow closer as people.