There have been intense debates related to the use of advanced technology, such as communication gadgets and new interaction platforms. Most people believe that new interactive platforms, such as social media, have a negative impact on the social and physical health of an individual. Social media, in particular, is believed to have negatives effects on people’s social skills. As the world of advanced technology takes shape, most people have resorted to the new ways of communicating and interacting using advanced hardware and software. The advent of advanced technology has led to far-reaching changes in the world and has affected almost everyone in one way or another. Almost every person and business organization have moved to new interactive platforms, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Google plus among other networks. Interactive and social media networks accord their users numerous privileges that one hardly contemplates the negative side of it. Social experts reckon that too much technology has devastating consequences for society. This paper elucidates the problems caused by communication technology and proposes solutions to combat telecommunication challenges.
Communication Technology negatively affects people’s health. In current techno-advanced societies, many people spend most of their time on the internet. They do not get involved in any physical exercise. This leads to a variety of diseases, such as obesity and eye problems. In addition, the use of social media and emails to interact and pass messages hinders many people from meeting and associating with one another face to face. This scenario has the potential to kill an individual’s innate communication skills and turn them into a robot-like individual. Personal and face-to-face interactions are critical in people’s lives because they explore people’s natural communication skills.
Young people, on the other hand, are susceptible to social media. Since every person has a Facebook or Twitter account nowadays, chances of meeting and socializing online with strangers are quite visible. For instance, many people engage or create a friendship with strangers online through either Facebook or Twitter. People end up forging close relationships with those they have never met or hardly know. They expose their personal life or information to strangers by default through posting on their walls, timelines, and status updates, forgetting that anyone is able to view and learn their moves through such postings. They usually talk about what they do on a daily basis, put Thumbs Ups on what they like, post questions and allow friends for discussion and update profiles. Through this a dangerous person is able to follow up and accomplish the mission like kidnapping, killing, or hijacking; they can simply chat with the target asking what they are up to, their whereabouts, and so on.
Addiction is another critical issue, as many people spend too much of their time on the internet. They forget the most important part of their life, like studying, for the students, who waste their time for chatting instead of studying, working, playing, having some exercise, and doing other important aspects of human life. The risk of social networking for young children is also another big issue. Most parents are going through the hard times trying to control their children. Most of them are exposed to dangerous sexual behavior, as they usually view videos through YouTube, and can watch pornographic pictures and movies. Some post links to their friends through emails, and Facebook links. These corrupt their minds when they are very young, then they start thinking about how they can also try. They start online hookups, flittering with people, who are older than they are, and, in the end, they even plan to meet and that is how they start engaging into early sex and early marriage.
Another big issue with technology in the sector of communication is bullying at the cyber, many people become cruel to their friends. When they differ, they start sending dangerous or threatening messages to them, through mobile phones, sending emails, or calling directly, exposing them by posting awful things on the walls for everyone to see; by so doing they destroy the person’s privacy and dignity, as everyone will be able to see that. They usually become demoralized and this affects them psychologically in many areas of life, such as school, work, relationships with friends and at home, as well as lowers their self-esteem.
Engaging with dangerous people is another issue that affects human life. Many adults and youth, for instance, talk and share private information with the strangers; thus, influencing one another leading to the wrong beliefs. People like those often find themselves unknowingly being in a cult, just because they relate with friends, who keep converting them, but they do not understand. These kinds of friends usually post bad pictures, give scriptures from the Bible, not through with genuine interests. They want to trap their trust and invite friends to join; by the time they realize, it is already too late.
Culture is another crucial area, which technology has negatively influenced. Patterns of communication and the consequences in the culture are varied, as people interact with others from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds; this affects more the young generation, as they relate with their fellow peers through the various social networks. When different people with varied cultures interact, they influence one another. Most of them tend to follow the most civilized culture in terms of coping skills the lifestyles and the way they behave. Culture, being the way of people’s actions conduct in a given population, influences all areas of life of that society: values, the way of behavior, beliefs, methods of doing things, and habitual skills. With the help of technology, these are transferred to the different people and the new practices are acquired regardless of their negative impact on human life.
The language used in social media is another issue that poses a great risk to users. Language is part of any culture. It is a medium, through which people express themselves. It shows a person’s identity, and people are able to relate to one another through mobile phones, e-mails, chatting, Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace. Through this, people learn and acquire new language skills, which may not be standard enough; this makes them carry the same to class, like the way of writing short text messages, and some people get used to such a style and carry it back to class. Others mix language, they influence one’s language making the young children acquire that mixture of language, thinking it is the right one and forgetting their original language. Too much exposure to social networking results in slow depletion of the original language and cultural values. Many people usually get exposed to the lifestyles of others, and start perceiving their own culture to be primitive and negative; in the end, they start imitating what they really do not know.
It makes students be lazy, as a lot of information is available on the internet. The boosters and education websites make students not to read books; on the contrary, they just prefer to download the information directly from the net and copy-paste or paraphrase it. Some form group discussions on the corresponding Facebook page and welcome participants to give their views and answers to the assignments given. In the end, the students get the information without having to struggle so much; yet, this makes them incompetent in the job market, though they may possess the necessary certificates.
A study shows that the internet encourages laziness, as most people spend their time playing games, surfing the dirty sites, watching and downloading risky information, causing fraud on the net, cyberbullying, interfering with other people’s private life, and promoting immorality.
The TV cables, a channel of communication, also has its negative impacts on the lives of people; the movies and soaps exposed on the TV channels encourage corruption of the mind, culture, and attitudes of people. For example, people watch movies or other TV shows and try to emulate some of the actors. Some get the influence of taking drugs, others become violent, because of constant exposure to the fighting shows; people are easily influenced by what they see. Some channels on TV offer naked people, pornographic movies, pleasure-seeking shows, promiscuity, greediness, hostility, crudeness in the language they use, and the extravagant mode of dressing.
To solve the problems associated with communication technology, authorities and industry regulators need to address a number of issues. First, there is a need for a strict curriculum on internet usage. Authorities need to formulate a curriculum that teaches on the ways the students can use the internet, and which sites they are advised to access. There must be a strict way of regulating and filtering content for different groups of people. For instance, the content tailored for old people must not be viewed by minors.
The society has a role to play as well, everybody should be responsible for their own actions, they should know what affects them and what does not affect them on the social networking sites, and they should take the step to avoid such sites. They should also know the important aspects of life and the ways to deal with them in order to achieve their goals, instead of wasting all their time on the internet. Many people need to avoid things that bring health hazards to their life, having known that too much exposure to this digital technology brings about health complications like eyesight problems, brain damage, physical discomfort, and obesity. They should, therefore, spend a little time on the internet and other digital related devices like phones or iPods.
Internet service providers should enforce strict monitoring procedures. They should not expose people to harmful content. There should be limits, such as age limit for the certain sites that may be important to adults and not too young people. There should be education on internet users so that they become aware of conmen, bullying, kidnappers, and other related dangerous activities that go on the net. Many get into the trap not because they were ignorant, but because they were not aware.
There should be some suitable penalties for every offender. There is a need to revisit the policies that govern internet usage. Anyone found going against these rules and regulations must face a severe penalty or be banned from accessing the World Wide Web. This can be useful by introducing the policy of registering and getting passwords to the specific sites so that in case of any dangerous practice, the person can easily be located. Parents should also watch and educate their own children on internet use and make them aware of the consequences of using the internet most of their time. They need to encourage them to do exercises outside the house in order to avoid some health hazards and laziness. Technology is not a thing to avoid and it eventually advances; therefore, the people involved need to adjust to the global community and technology and bring additional benefits to the society of information and communication technology. The media industry should have the goal to add quality shows that expose the world and incorporate other cultures worldwide.
About the author:
Laura Duncan is a specialist in English literature at Orlando University. She is currently working on a variety of topics related to studying the state of sociology. Laura is the leading explorer of US poetry of the 20th century and I am Joaquin summary one of the most important analytical research in her career. She also studies the influence of literature and language on the consciousness of society.