Tag Archives: blackberry

Technology: make or break?

Burning question in my mind.

Does technology, keep people together? Or does it pull them apart.

Here are 2 scenarios.

scenario A

A father goes overseas to work. With the “invention” of 3G, he is able to make calls to his family using a data plan, with the help of Viber, an application for the iPhone. Applications like FaceTime is also used, and he is able to look at his family while speaking to them.

scenario B

X and Z used to meet regularly for supper, because it was their only way of communication, besides talking on the phone. With technology, they now can message each other, update each other on their whereabouts (foursquare), random bits of information (twitter), and send each other pictures immediately after taking them (whatsapp, bbm, sms). They no longer see the need to meet as they are able to update each other on their lives. Messaging each other becomes a weekly affair, or as and when they are free to text.

How does this work then? This thing, this.. seemingly intangible thing, otherwise known as technology. Why I say it’s intangible? Sure, you can hold a phone, carry your laptop, use a satellite.. but how does the information get transmitted? How does your word document get sent to another person?

Weirdly, this technology may just be the thing that pulls people apart. How many of you have friends who got dumped over a text message, or a phone call? What happened to being sincere in whatever you do? Or wishing the person a happy birthday over a text?

While sending text messages and making phone calls are good, does it help create an imaginary closeness with that particular person? You may be able to talk on the phone all day, but it’s really different from meeting the person, in flash, having a conversation.

It’s been said that only 7% of what is said in a dialogue is verbal content (Booth 2008). The rest of our message lies in the way we act. Our tone, facial expression, the way we sit.

In this way then, how do we put our emotions into text, or pictures? Sure, we have emoticons to help, but do they accurately reflect our feelings? Not everything can be represented with emoticons. I, for one, prefer meeting with my friends, because friendship is important, and technology just cannot replace the physical contact.

I used to joke with my friends. With technology, we would not need to meet. We used to meet up weekly for a game of Mahjong, where they would head to my place and stay for the night. However, with Viwawa, an internet portal which has other games, along with Mahjong, we may just agree for a time to meet up online, after all, we can always chat in viwawa, and if we want to look at each other, there’s always group chat in Skype!

Look at this post. How many applications and services have I listed? Of these, how many of them do you use to keep in touch with your family and friends? Does it act as a substitute, or does it aid your relationship?

That said, it is up to each individual to decide how they want to use the technology presented to them. You can use it as the tool for social interaction, or, you can use it as a tool to aid you in keeping close contact with your friends. (=

What’s your take on this?

Reference

Booth, C. W, 2008, It is What You Say, Not The Way You Say It, viewed 10 May 2011, < http://www.thefaithfulword.org/whatyousay.html&gt;.

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Reliant on technology

2011; everything is readily available online. As they say, “Google is your best friend.” Whatever you’re unsure of, just google! Weirdly, Google is actually a noun. But our usage, well, we’ve changed it into a verb. Back to the point, googling to find answers… When I used to have a problem getting online, I wanted so hard to Google what was wrong with my Internet settings, and how to set it right. Obviously it didn’t work because.. to access Google you need an internet connection. Sigh.

We’re becoming very reliant on technology, especially the internet. Many of us carry blackberries, iPhones, Androids, and other smart phones that allow us to get online using 3G while we’re outside. Whether we’re waiting for the tram to arrive, waiting for our turn in a queue, as long as we have nothing to do, we’ll whip our phones out and fiddle with them. Then I pause and think, what about others who don’t have phones with them? What do they do while commuting from one place to another? After all, a good 40% of the world’s population do not have mobile phones (Yoskowitz 2009). This, however, is a steep decrease, compared to 2002, where 86% of the world’s population did not own a mobile phone (Yoskowitz 2009).

With the amount of applications (apps) for our phones, it’s no wonder we’re always entertained. We can’t sit still doing nothing. The blackberry has over a thousand apps, while the iPhone has over 350,000 apps (kgb answers 2011; Apple 2011). Application genres include games, fashion, entertainment, sports, news, stocks and shares and even the weather.

I guess with all these services at the snap of our fingers, it’s no wonder why we’re so reliant on technology. Part of me feels like detaching myself from technology, no mobile phones when I’m out, no internet when I’m home. Wait, no using the computer to watch videos either. Doubt I’ll be able to do that for a week, but who knows? One day, when everything falls apart, we’ll be forced to live like how we did before technology. We’ll have a hard time adjusting back to it, but I’m pretty sure we’ll do fine when the time comes…

References
Apple 2011, Apple, California, viewed 24 March 2011, .

Kgb Answers 2011, Kgb, New York, viewed 24 March 2011, .

Yoskowitz, A 2009, AfterDawn, viewed 24 March 2011, .