The Value of Social Interaction

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Today’s technologies have brought an added layer of social interaction to our everyday lives.  Through cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, we can connect to our friends and family at any time.

But how much is too much?  And at what point are we sacrificing real social interaction for the technology-based alternative?

One of my pet peeves is going to a restaurant and seeing a family all concentrating on their cell phones.  Mom is texting friends, dad is sending emails for work, and the kids are playing games.  They are hardly even acknowledging each other.

Another pet peeve is to make plans with someone, only to have them spend half of their time looking at Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites while they are with me.

In each of these situations, we are given the opportunity for real social interaction, but we instead choose to interact with a few ounces of plastic and metal.

Enough is enough.

social-interaction

My family has set rules around the use of technology.  First of all, at social moments (like the dinner table), cell phones, tablets, and games are simply not allowed.  There is no need for it.

I have heard of other people setting similar rules that require putting our technology aside, such as family game nights, scheduled reading time, and so on.  The rules may be different, but the goal is the same.

Technology’s goal is to improve our quality of life.  Over-using technology actually degrades our quality of life by cheapening the value of our most important relationships.

Let’s put the technology down for awhile.  Facebook can wait.  Twitter will be there when we get back.  We can always send that important work email later.  Instead, let’s take a little extra time to focus on the people that matter most.

Do not let life pass you by as you try to keep up with it on your cell phone.  Put down your phone and experience what it really means to live.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Chad R. Torgerson

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