You scroll through your Instagram feed-in silence-while you’re in the car with your family. You Tweet instead of striking up a conversation with your seatmate on the train. You text your BFFs instead of making plans with them, content watching Netflix alone in bed while you’re glued to your phone.
Is technology making us loners? Are we, as “millennials,” becoming more comfortable with the idea of being alone, yet staying connected 24/7? Let’s think about it: how many minutes each day do we actuallydevote to technology? Take a moment to stop and think about each time you check your cell, post a status, or upload a picture. Personally, between the texting, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and emailing I do on a daily basis, my number probably hovers somewhere around two hours. That’s two hours less time I get each day to read, spend quality time with family and friends (sans the distraction of iMessages or Notifications), be outside, spend time writing, or anything other than staring at a screen. And let’s talk about the glaring irony present: I’m sitting here, typing away on my laptop, writing about how technology eats away at our personal time. Who’s pointing the finger now?
But time and time again, people everywhere have asked these same questions about technology. This argument has even caught the attention of scientists and medical professionals-so much that many studies have been done to figure out if there really are noticeable social side effects from using, and overusing, technology. A recent article published on Forbes online provides some stats about our social networks: those who reported feeling most alone currently are young people under the age of 35, the most prolific of all social networkers. Another recent study found that 48% of respondents only had one confidant compared to a similar study done 25 years ago, when people said they had about three people they could really trust. A study by Harvard Business Review found that team performance went up 50% when teams socialized more and limited email for “operational-only” issues. Clearly, there’s a theme here. We don’t just “become more lonely” as a human race over time. It seems that with the advent of social media, laptops, and apps, we’re choosing screens over personal interactions. Technology definitely has something to do with all of this…but are we going to stop it?
In September 2013, the New York Times opened up an online forum to students ages 13 and older to respond to the question: Does technology make us more alone? Some agreed, and some disagreed. Below are some responses:
“I dont think it’s necessarily making us more alone, it just depends on the person and their interests. Some people enjoy sitting and talking and being social, but others enjoy the internet and technology in general. I believe it just depends what you are into.”
“Technology makes us feel more alone because people are too focused on what’s on there screen than what’s in happening in real life. most teenagers are very anti-social, the only time they communicate are through a phone like texting and social networks. they feel like communicating through a phone is much better than communicating face to face. a lot of teenagers dont know how to communicate to people face to face cause they are one, too focused on their phones and two they haven’t learned to do that, no one has bothered to teach them how to talk to people. I believe people should not be so attached to there electronics, so they can focus on the more important stuff.”
“Technology makes us more alone because it makes people socially awkward which leads us into isolating ourselves from the real world and talking less.”
“Technology does make us more alone. Technology negatively influences social interaction, makes our community socially awkward and causes our people to embellish online to be someone they are not.”
“To have a device at our hands causes us to become us to become lonelier. Technology makes us forget the different between being alone and being lonely. In addition, our communication slacks and, sadly, we separate ourselves from the real world to attend a virtual one.”
But even given these opinions, technology has become a necessary evil. We aren’t gonna stop using it, nor will our world ever be technology-free. It’s here to stay. Now, it’s up to us how frequently we use it, and how much we let it dominate our lives. In reality, the real world > the virtual world. The world offers us so much more than a screen ever will. Ultimately, it’s our decision whether or not we view the world through a screen, or with our very own two eyes.
I'm looking for constructive comments and criticism regarding my Argumentative Essay.
-Prompt: "Does Technology Make Us More Alone or More Connected to the World?"
Today's social media provides world-wide connectivity at all times. Sites, such as Facebook, keep us in touch with those we cannot be with often or at all. No matter how you slice your cake, you can always connect with anyone else that is online. Whether they are next-door or in a different country, you can easily contact anyone you'd like to. I am never alone when I'm online.
Technology is a hub of information and ideas. The television informs the viewers of both important and relative current events while also being a great source of entertainment, and the internet is by far the biggest source to find anything you would ever want to know. The web is where mostly all ideas are publicly posted for viewing. I have always believed that an ignorant person does not know what to believe or how to think for themselves. In this day and age, one has vast amounts of ideas to evaluate and chose from to influence their beliefs and life choices.
Hobbies and interests are a click away. Social media can suit your own personal tastes. Any hobbies you have, you can discuss. Any interests you wish to pursue, you can learn about. Even the most obscure topics are covered on some deep corner of the web. There are tons of people out there who love the same things as you and many people who are completely open to conversation. I can count the amount of offline friends I share my interests with on one hand, but I see thousands of people online daily that share my opinions.
Social media is the gateway of confidence for shy and lonely individuals. You choose how to present yourself when you are online, and you are able to express yourself freely. If you are lacking the social skills for a face-to-face conversation, then you could try to start relationships online. Taking refuge behind a screen with time to revise messages could really help you clear your head and piece together a great conversation. Facebook has greatly improved my own social skills, and I would be far more alone now if it wasn't for it.
Many are under the impression that today's technology is degrading social skills. While their impression is not completely unjustified, there are a few flaws in their argument. Firstly, social media does not replace face-to-face interaction time, it is merely a supplement. Regardless, you are still communicating with another person. Secondly, deep relationships can be made through a screen just as well as in person. Deeper connections could possibly be made when the keyboard provides no shame in admitting your deepest secrets. Lastly, if you value your online connections greater than the real world, then it is your choice where you want to spend your time building relationships. It's not a waste of time. You aren't alone or anti-social. You are connected to a different world entirely. I know I'll be living and working with the internet and the people using it most of my life, and I am happy to say I won't be alone.
I like to start each paragraph with a separate hook and tie in my own personal opinion at the end.
Hope you enjoy the essay as is. If you could provide additional comments, then that would be much appreciated.
Feel free to share your own opinions on the subject as well.
Michael, the topic of your essay is interesting to be discussed. The technology is, in fact, a two-edged sword with both the advantages and disadvantages. It depends on the people who utilize it, but I do hope that they will use it for good. It goes the same to the use of technology. I am agree with your opinion that technology is not turning people to anti-social.
Move to the content of your essay, the idea of giving the hook separately needs to be improved. A good essay is not only a matter of drawing readers' interest, but also how to unite all ideas into one solid writing. I see that you have strong, clear, and understandable arguments regarding the issue. However, these arguments are standalone, it has to be linked together to improve your essay. Therefore, I suggest you to incorporate some transitional phrases as a link from one idea to another, specifically connecting each paragraph. I am sure that the appropriate use of transition signals will not distract the content in your writing.
Hope these help you in revising the essay further. Keep writing! Best regards.
Hi Michael, well, you hoped that your readers enjoy reading the essay and I must say, I did enjoy reading it, I was fascinated with how you manage to input different techniques to capture your readers attention.
Pretty much, you practiced the art of forming a "what's next?", sort of question in every paragraph that you create in your essay.
As argumentative as you would like your essay to be, I would like to say, you made your point known to your readers and you manage to entertain as well as educate your readers as to what social media and technology in general can do to our lives.
There you have it Michael, I hope my insights helped and encourage you to keep writing and be enthusiastic in creating well- worth- a- read essays. Keep writing.