Technology and its Effects on Interpersonal Communication, Good or Bad?

by JacobT on October 28, 2016 - 1:22pm

     Through time we have had many changes in technology in all of the fields it has an effect in. Technology effects media, health, entertainment, and just about everything else in our every day lives. One of the biggest things it has effected is communication. We have gone from sending letters by mail, to sending messages in a snap over the internet. We can speak to just about whomever we want, whenever we want. I can talk to my friends living in Brazil that I have met in college in a matter of seconds. All this being said, many believe that technologies effect on interpersonal communication has still been negative overall. I believe that that is not incorrect, but not completely true either. Obviously there are negative effects that have come from technology to our communication skills, but the same can be said about Technologies effect on our health's. Without some of the advancements we have had on medicine, where would we be now? I believe that looking at all the facts, that overall technologies effect on interpersonal communication is far more positive than it is negative. That any negatives that may exist, are far outweighed by the massive amount of positive it has brought us. its brought positive to the classroom and to the workplace. Think about where we would be now in school without the internet. Without the ability to type and post on websites like this. Or how easy it is for a teacher to now just recieve a paper online, and post your grade within minues of you posting it.

      For my choice in article, I chose to read “Tethered to Technology” written by Byron Smith, and published by the New York Times. The article states that Sherry Turkle (a well known Social Studies professor at MIT) believes that technologies are depleting face-to-face communications that we, as humans, have on a regular basis. While I believe this is at least partially true, the writer of the article brings up that Ms. Turkle does not state any of the benefits that it has brought us. The fir letter also brings up that what Turkle has brought up are all not things we consider new, seeing how many in the 1960s’ and 70’s argued that families did not speak anymore, since they all ate at the television. These are all points that I fully agree with. The rest of the article is several more letters to the editor about their opinions on the fact, all involving several different reasons to be on one side (texting and driving, decline in social etiquette, and a reliance on technology with teens). While all those letters seem to be rather spot on, it brings me back to what the first letter said with “Professor Turkle minimizes the positive impact that online technologies have on face-to-face conversations.” because none of these writers have anything positive either, showing that they are biased in this situation.


Xiufang, X. (2016). Interpersonal Meaning and Translation Strategy. Theory & Practice In Language Studies6(5), 1027-1032. doi:10.17507/tpls.0605.17

Darics, E. (2014). The Blurring Boundaries Between Synchronicity and Asynchronicity: New Communicative Situations in Work-Related Instant Messaging. International Journal Of Business Communication51(4), 337-358. doi:10.1177/2329488414525440

"Tethered to Technology." New York Times. New York Times, 3 Oct. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.