Electronic Communication and Human Interaction:
Adverse Effects of Unhealthy Boundaries with Technology
Prof. A. Patriche
September 20, 2014
Communication and human interaction is essential to survival and a healthy existence. (Lee, et al. 376). Prior to the creation of the internet, invented by software designer Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, human beings' primary source of interaction was through direct face-to-face contact (Otter 1). In today's popular culture, technology continues to advance at rapid speed. The Internet is now accessible at one's fingertips, via cellular phones, also known as smartphones. As a 2006 study reflects, in 2004 87% of people are internet users (Lenhart, et al. 2). Yearly, the amount of people connected to the internet continues to rise. Other forms of electronic communication are used as well, like e-mail and instant messaging. With technology so easily accessible, electronic communication has become the main source of interaction between people, making face-to-face human contact less likely and not the most convenient source of communication in today's fast-paced world.
Although technology has positively enhanced our world, relationships, businesses, and communication, if it is not used properly, can cause irreparable harm as well. One needs to create a healthy balance between electronic communication and face-to-face human interaction. When one's primary source of communication is done electronically, it can adversely affect his/her relationships, psychological well-being, and promote out-of-character negative social behavior.
The total amount of time people spend daily communicating via electronic devices, rather than socializing face-to-face, is somewhat staggering to say the least. As well stated by Lee, a study conducted in 2006 provided that
[n]ine in ten American teens (aged 12-17) were wired, and 89% of them used the Internet to send or read email while 75% sent or received instant messages. However, face-to-face time still surpassed...