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Impact of Technology on Communication: Is It a Human Friend or Foe

It is not an easy task to comprehend at once whether the current technological progress and innovations have a positive impact on human lives. Today, people are blinded with a number of opportunities offered by the technological progress, and they cannot realize how harmful this kind of progress can actually be. For example, the impact of technology on communication is of double nature. On the one hand, such aspects like speed, efficiency, accessibility, and connections seem to be rather appealing to people. On the other hand, it is important not to neglect the fact that people fail to write and express their ides in a grammatically proper way. Clarity in communication plays a crucial role in human lives: if the technological progress influences the quality of communicative clarity, people should think over the ways of using technologies and improving communication. It is high time to put the quality but not quantity on the first place in order to create and develop a smart and effective society.  

The current technological progress influences each sphere of life in some way. As a rule, people try to see only the positive effects of technologies’ use and promote this development to improve human lives, business, political, economic, and cultural relations. The essence of technological use is to make the life easier and save time. People are afraid to lose each opportunity available; therefore, they are not strong enough to resist technological temptations.

The relations, which exist between technology and language, are extremely complicated (Nunberg, Baron, and Garfield para. 17). The experts underline the fact that, even if people communicate by means of different technologies, they share information “placed by a human talking to a human” (Lefton para. 19). People do not pay much attention to the role and impact of technologies on communication but rather define technology as an appropriate mean of communication. In fact, such unwillingness to identify technology as a significant issue in human communication may lead to unpredictable outcomes in the nearest future. Still, it also helps to understand that the way of how communication is developed between people is not always perfect, and there are a lot of wrong steps people can take while talking to each other.

Lefton underlines, “Clarity is more important than tone” (para. 8) in any kind of communication, and “communication without those rules leads to confusion and the decay of civility” (para. 9). The question is whether people themselves create inappropriate conditions for communications. During the conversation between Nunberg, Baron, and Garfield, it becomes clear that people find it interesting to use new words and abbreviations. Still, they do not always consider the impact of such communicative innovations. Children do not have a chance to learn and understand the original words, from which these new abbreviations originate. They use the already offered material and deprive themselves of the possibility to be literate and intelligent. Children get knowledge from the Internet; even if the Google representatives admit that they “really encourage clear, effective, to-the-point communication to searchers” (Lefton para. 3), they still cannot influence the level of literacy.

Emotional recognition is also a significant part of communication, and John Seabrook admits, “The current technology can capture neither the play of emphasis, rhythm, and intonation in spoken language… nor the emotional experience of speaking and understanding language” (4). Now, people know that technologies deprive people of a lot of things, giving the desirable time and speed instead. People in turn are free to choose whether they need clarity and emotions in their conversations or not. Therefore, people should also learn how to read images instead of letters because of “the new screen fluency” that requires them to analyze and manipulate all moving images in the way language is analyzed (Kelly 4). Now, it is not enough to be literate; it is crucial to be screen literate in order to become a thoughtful member of a society.  

Not long time ago, people were under a threat of using their own words and ideas via different technological tools in a wrong way. Now, they have to be too much attentive to the information offered and try to interpret it as correct as possible. Therefore, the impact of technology on communication is evident, and people have to be able to identify it in time and adapt to it accordingly. The four readings under consideration help to understand that people are usually responsible for the communications they develop; still, they may use different technologies to simplify these communications, make them faster or more efficient. People are responsible for the quality of communications, in which they participate. They create the standards and have to follow them. Nevertheless, people should not rely on their independence and abilities all the time, as the technologies they create may influence any communication considerably.

In general, the role of technology in communication remains to be important. People offer new ideas, use innovations, and promote the technological progress in order to facilitate their lives and get more opportunities to develop different kinds of relations and communications. Still, it is not always possible to control the effects of technologies on communication. People may become addicted to the Internet or mobile phones as these technologies and devices offer quick communication. If it happens that these tools are not available or broken for some reasons, people find themselves in situations, which are hard to solve. They become helpless to find the necessary solutions and continue communication on the relevant level. Therefore, people should learn how to develop communications independently and use the technologies properly but not to become puppets in the technology’s hands.