Nov 19, 2012

Is technology turning us into a bunch of wimps?


Image: © Yanik Chauvin | Dreamstime.com
How much easier has technology made your life? It's all around us.  There's no way to escape.  Even if you're not a big fan of gadgets the tide of technology makes it hard to get around the issue. When was the last time you actually received or sent a handwritten letter?  Or mailed a payment for a bill?  My point exactly.

I thought of how our interactions with others have been impacted, specifically by e-mail and text messaging.  Are there any situations or conversations that should never be handled via text or e-mail?  I’m not sure that there is a blanket answer, so I’ll speak from my own experience.

I received a series of text messages from someone who was attempting to offer an explanation and apology for something they admittedly failed to do.  Although I knew this person rather well, it was very difficult under the circumstances to “read” the true emotions via text messaging.  The succinctness of the text messages just made the explanation, and the accompanying apology, feel really insincere—even if they weren’t.

The whole incident made me nostalgic about the “old days.”  The days when people sat down and poured their emotions from the ink of a pen onto a piece of paper, and the recipient just knew that they were on the mind and heart of the writer.  When any ambiguity regarding a person’s thoughts and feelings were cleared up with sometimes pages upon pages of their written words.

It made me wish for the times when friends knew they needed to talk, and problems would be resolved, and hugs and tears exchanged over a cup of coffee. I’m afraid that those days are all but gone.  I’m fearful that they now have a sometimes cold and impersonal replacement.

Technology is a double-edged sword. It can be helpful in communicating a simple idea, thought, or feeling to a friend or relative.  On the other hand, a line has to be drawn somewhere.  Technology is great, but it’s making us into a bunch of wimps when it comes to handling disagreements and delicate situations. It gives us a pass to get out of facing someone we've hurt. On the flip side, it may give us the gumption to say things we'd probably not have the nerve to say in person.

You simply cannot replace the value of human interaction in every situation, and especially sensitive ones, with a text message or e-mail: You don’t break up with someone, for instance, via text message—that’s cold and tacky.  Sometimes you have to pick up the phone or arrange the face-to-face.   

What are your thoughts? What are situations that should not be handled via text message or e-mail?

26 comments:

  1. There are times when I find sending an e-mail or texting less intrusive especially when you're not in the mood for small talk but sometimes I need the warmth of chatting with a friend in person over a cup of tea or a real hug when I'm feeling down.

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    1. I understand completely. Sometimes I prefer sending a text because it's quicker and I might not feel like chatting. I've even had discussions via text or email about something really serious, but I always try to follow those up pretty quickly with a call or a meeting in-person. I'd take a hug when I'm down any day over a text message with a smily emoticon.

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  2. I have to agree that technology has made it way too easy for this generation. I don't like seeing kids who are in elementary school and they have cell phones already. I had to earn my cell phone when I was in high school and I didn't have any iPhone. I had this huge Motorola phone!

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    1. I'm glad I grew up before all the cell phones in school. I'd hate living in fear of ending up on YouTube doing something embarrassing! It's funny how you can have a room or table full of people--and not all teens--and everyone is texting or playing with their cell phones.

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  3. I hear you!! My kids want to write email thanks you notes , and I make them write an actual note card and mail it...they do it, but do not agree and think an email thank you is just as good.
    the teenage texting is out of control.

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    1. Good!! I love the convenience of e-mails also but it really is so much more personal and touching to see that someone took the time to sit and write a small card or note.

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  4. Agreed! There really isn't anything delicate about technology. You lose all the small detailed nuance of communication.
    -Jamie
    http://chatterblossom.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, I totally agree Jamie. There are just emotions that cannot be conveyed through a text or e-mail. Plus, it's so easy to misunderstand the tone of a text or e-mail. Good comment. Hope you have a great week!

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  5. Sometimes it makes me sad how much we rely on technology and how impersonal we've become... Personally, I prefer just calling someone!

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    1. I'm sad right along with you Camille. I like the convenience of technology but I hate how much it is ruining our social skills, and especially those of kids and teens. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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  6. This reminds me of the story There Will Come Soft Rains

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    1. I haven't read that one...I'll have to check it out!

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  7. I so agree with you! Technology has made us weak! But...we rely on it for everything.
    I got an actual handwritten letter in the mail from a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while. We communicate via Facebook and stuff but an actual letter...that was amazing!
    I miss those days!

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. What?! You actually got a handwritten letter? Awesome! It's nice to keep up with friends via FB and texting, but there's something about the extra effort to write, call, or visit that means so much.

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  8. A year ago I didn't even know how to use a computer, and now I am totally addicted to it. I do think it is wrong to have serious discussions and arguments through texts---people are bolder now in what they say if they don't have to say it to your face--I think people have become more rude because if it. and I so miss the days of hand written letters--I used to enjoy writing them and receiving them!

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    1. I agree with you 100%. I think texts are becoming an easy way to get out of having to face someone. I cannot even remember seriously the last time I received or sent a handwritten letter. I think I'd better start doing it more.

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  9. I absolutely agree. Not only should some conversations never happen via text/email getting out and meeting up with people to talk or calling a really great friend to have a long conversation I think is just good for us.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    Stop by and enter my Giveaway for a nail polish set, a clutch, and a necklace set.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Tracy. I think you're spot on. Thanks for the info on the giveaway!!

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  10. interesting post...Technology has changed our lives.But,can I say we are loosing some of the part of our lives because of technology?Seems like life is becoming so mechanical!
    just my idea....
    Have a Great Day!
    Amy
    http://foodssrilanka.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for weighing in on this topic Amy. Technology has changed some things for the better, but it has also had some negative side effects as well. Have a great evening:).

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  11. I like text messages for short conversations, but for anything more I like to talk to someone in person or on the phone. Great post!

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    1. That's how I feel. In the time it takes to send a long text message I could have called and been done with it. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the post:).

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  12. Hi Sweet You,

    The ladies and I are starting to gather a bit early this week so that we can take our turkey loving time mingling and growing together over the next few days.

    Thank you for linking up with us last week, thank you for sharing your sweet energy with all of us... thank you for being beautiful you.

    Come join us if you please.
    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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    1. I'd be happy to join in again! Thanks so kindly for the invite:).

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  13. You know we're in trouble when making a phone call seems like an unusual activity. Technology is great, to a point, but it's taking over everything, I think.

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    1. Very well put!! Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts on this topic.(:

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