Technology Replacing Face-to-Face Communication
While the whole story was interesting, the reporter touched on a subject that left me thinking. What she said went something like this: kids today are getting their first glimpse of reading from a technological source.
She explained that parents are handing over their gadgets to their children, allowing them to engage with an app that will read aloud to them. This is convenient for busy parents, but at bed-time, do parents really want their children bonding with toys rather than themselves?
Since children are exposed to media and technology at a remarkably young age, they understand how to use the iPad and Kindles almost instinctually. The touch capability of the iPad is like nothing the world has seen and children born today don’t know a world without it. It is as if they are born with a technological gene.
So, this got me thinking about how the world and humans are evolving. What is it going to be like in 50 years and who is going to be running the show?
There are a whole slew of predictions we could make about the future. Robots and time travel, for example, but what is realistic? This question is obviously not easy to answer.
I never dreamt books would go out of fashion, but the truth is, there is no contest — the medium is shifting and it’s simply a matter of being ready to jump on board. Children don’t have to make that choice; it is already in their blood. Our kids will think differently than we do because their brains develop differently.
But, even though we completely understand technology, we can remember a world when it didn’t dominate.
I, for one, would never trade away my childhood, running around the neighborhood barefoot and getting into trouble with my friends. Kids today, though, have Facebook, where they get into trouble via cyber-world.
MSNBC.com reporter Mark Egan wrote on Friday, “We are living in perhaps the biggest moment in publishing since Gutenberg’s invention of the moveable-type printing press in the middle of the 15th century.”
Jobs that are available today, such as publishing, may not exist in 20 or 30 years. Magazines have managed to withstand technological advances because there is something special about getting a monthly publication filled with images that people look forward to. Still, I am confident in saying that the time will come when they, too, disappear. Something better will emerge. Most magazines and newspapers, if they want to remain relevant, have already been forced to create apps for the iPad.
This shift isn’t only happening in publishing. Soul mates are found online with the help of sites like match.com, and we have friends across the world we’ve never met thanks to Twitter. It’s brought us to a point where we don’t even call one another anymore — and why should we when e-mail and text messages are as sufficient? Face to face contact is unnecessary. Businesses are already conducting meetings through Skype. People thousands of miles apart can sit down “face-to-face.”
It seems there will be a day when everything, let alone breathing, eating and procreating, will exist in a digital realm.
Does this mean that future CEOs and presidents of the world won’t know how to communicate with one other? Are we forgetting our verbal skills? Do we need technology to function?
James Franco told POLITICO on Friday, “Social media is over. Still up there. Going down.”
I find this hard to believe, but hey, a couple of years ago MySpace was all the rage. I just don’t see Facebook “going down” anytime soon.
The Culture Cut is a blog by Sara Spiegel and Annie Scheltens.Share