Face to Face or Space to Space:Relationships and the Internet

Essay by ksenia2005College, UndergraduateA, January 2010

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Technology has advanced tremendously in the past two decades and made our lives easier in many ways, especially communication, but to what expense of our society? It is incredible to think how much our society depends on their cell phones and computers in order to build relationships with people rather than the old-fashioned technique of face-face contact. Businesses are using email, teleconferencing, web cam's, and so on in order to build their relationships with clients; teenagers are using social networks on the internet to make new friends and keep in touch with their old ones, and families are spending less and less time together due to the increase in internet use. Aric Sigman, the author of Well Connected? The Biological Influences of Social Networking found that since 1987 there has been a drop in hours per day spent with face-to-face contact as the use of electronic devices increased. A lot of people argue that the internet is making the world a smaller place and making it easier for people to keep in contact and while this is true, it doesn't mean that email, chat rooms, Facebook, MySpace,Twitter, text messaging, or web cams should or can replace face to face communication.

People are failing to see the importance and benefits that face to face contact has on our society. According to Robert Putnam, community involvement amplifies a person's mental and physical health and many researchers have found this to be true (qtd in Hunter). The absence of face to face communication doesn't only affect our physical and mental well-being, but our safety and privacy too. So what does this mean for our society as internet communication begins to grow more and more as each year passes?For one thing, our health can be affected a great deal due to the isolation...