Interaction through technology

I’ve been two afternoons in the library trying to write my first essay in English (whcih is not easy at all when you find yourself unable to write your thoughts in a foreign language…) and read a lot about interaction through technology.

First of all, I was surprised when in the lecture we talked about interaction but then I read a bit more about it and it conviced me. As Blake says in Brave New Digital classroom, technology and foreign language learning, “After all, computers are not human and cannot interact with anyone in the sense that two huma beings can. Nevertheless, Reeves and Nass (1996,5) have convincingly argued the following: people’s interactions with computers, television, and new media are fundamentally social and natural, just like interactions in real life.” Do we really feel like we’re interacting with the computer in a real social manner? If you’re not sure, just have a look at the book mentioned before, it’s really interesting! But this question wasn’t the purpose of this post. In fact, this morning I was wondering what are the positive and the negative impacts of technology on social interaction?

Here’s a picture that shows my first thought about the impact of technology on our daily lives:

people-on-their-phones

In fact, many of us are literally addicted to their phone, especially smartphones since it’s possible to have internet wherever you want and to use it as air. But on the other hand, just think about email, instant messaging, Skype,… I think we’re lucky to have all this to communicate with friends on the other side of the world! The next time you go to a restaurant or hang out with your friends, observe how many people are occupying their phones, tablets, and/or computers instead of engaging in a conversation. How does that make you feel?

In many ways technology has enabled us to strengthen relationships by keeping in contact with old friends, colleagues, and co-workers. What would we do if we could not find old friends from high school through Facebook? Technology has even provided opportunities for students all over the world to receive an education online through CALL for example, while still maintaining work schedules and family.

If technology was taken away from you, how would you feel? Personally, I would have the feeling that something is missing due to technology now being a necessity in our everyday life. But I can’t deny that once I am on holiday, I’m so happy and relaxed being without a phone for the whole summer, really!

If you have any interesting observations, thoughts, or comments about my post, please feel free to comment. I would love to hear other people’s opinions and perceptions about the positive and negative impacts of technology. And here‘s an article about the same subject.

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