Relationships Affected by Computer Technology

Relationships Affected By Computer Technology

Computer technology has a considerable influence in the lives of all people, whether you are a sixteen year old high school student or a twenty-one year old college student. In the PBS Frontline documentary, Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, there are descriptions of how everyone’s daily lives are affected by the use of digital technology. Personal and professional relationships are influenced daily by the use of computers and the internet, because there is a big difference between the digital technology knowledge of a high school student compared to their forty year old parents or their thirty-five year old boss. Digital Nation proves with the invention of the internet that nothing is completely private anymore. Any information whether it is personal or professional can be obtained and some sites require a fee to access information from the internet. You have to be careful what you say and do online, because you never know who might be watching. Digital Nation shows how computer technology has made a significant impact in the personal and professional relationships of all teenagers and college students through educational, personal, social networking, and business opportunities.

Computers are a vital part of educational learning for teenagers and college students, whether it is looking online for a research topic for a paper, following a class lecture on your laptop, participating in online class discussions through D2L program, or typing up homework assignments. Since most teachers use computer technology in their teaching lessons, kids from third grade through high school are exposed to the computer and the internet on a daily basis for educational purposes. When compared to twenty years ago, digital technology has greatly affected and diminished the reading, writing, mathematical, critical thinking, problem solving, and grammar skills of our children. Children are now motivated to attend school and actually want to learn, because of the new educational learning techniques provided by the teacher using a computer in their classes. The internet and computer games are distractions for kids from the age of eight to eighteen, when these kids should be concentrating on doing homework. Using the internet is considered an addictive behavior for high school and college students, since some teenagers and young adults use the internet about fifty hours a week. That is a sad fact to consider for parents, who have difficulty with their children doing homework for school.

With social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, high school and college students are able to interact with their friends and family outside of school and without the use of a phone. These online social atmospheres allow these students to keep in touch with long distance family members and old friends from their past, which these students do not get to see in person on a daily basis. Some people believe in having a double life, because you act differently online through Facebook and Myspace, than you do in real life. Since I use Facebook for personal and professional reasons, I have multiple Facebook pages to separate my family, friends, and coworkers. Facebook is an important part of my daily life, in addition to my college education and my community job.

I was surprised when watching the part of the Digital Nation documentary on how personal, family, and socializing relationships have been affected by Facebook. Family relationships are greatly affected by sites like Facebook, because some teenagers and college students do not want any of their family members and relatives to know every detail of their personal lives. Depending on your privacy settings, someone other than a friend or a family member might see your personal information, photos, and status updates on Facebook. In the online clip, “Baby Boomers Facebooking”, Kirk Carapezza and Franz Strasser describe how Facebook affects today’s society. Kirk Carapezza claims, “When it was founded in 2004, Facebook originally aimed to serve eighteen to twenty-four year old Ivy League students like Strasser. Strasser says the site has changed in those five years.” (Carapezza) Franz Strasser states, “Of course, now you have everyone on Facebook. Meaning also your boss, maybe your parents (not in my case), but certainly some former bosses, and professional contacts. That’s the bad thing about Facebook, you constantly think there is something on that you might be missing.” (Strasser)

Relationships are formed between people through computers to handle every day duties, whether the relationship is for business or personal reasons. Several people use computers for their jobs, since some businesses require employees to use a computer for all the required job functions. Teachers, lawyers, bank employees, and medical staff are required to use computers daily to be organized and successful for their jobs. Computer programs like Microsoft Office assist you in writing letters, printing envelopes and labels, making charts, and composing lists to stay organized in your life. Some businesses use the internet to order office supplies or purchase necessary items to increase the success in the company. Business relationships can sometimes be tense, but people learn to deal with their coworkers to guarantee the positive growth of the company.

Most people use the internet and the computer in many ways, and spend about five to eight hours daily on the internet. The internet is useful for checking sites like CNN or Fox News for the latest updates in national and world news, and sites like www.weather.com to check upcoming weather reports. The internet makes life easier to purchase books, movies, and music from online sites like Amazon and eBay instead of driving to Walmart. You can also use the internet to keep up to date on all interesting sports news in regards to NFL, Nascar, MLB, Indycar, and any other sports you might enjoy. There are many computer games that you can purchase and play on your home computer, without having to go on the internet. Even though there are more selections of computer games online, you can easily lose track of time when you’re playing games on the internet.

During the last twenty years, the internet has drastically changed the way a person acts, lives, and talks in comparison to a face to face conversation. In today’s society, more people communicate through internet options like Facebook and email, or through texting on a cell phone. Personal and professional relationships will always be affected by the digital technology of our society. The computer and the internet are useful when performing some required job functions, to keep in touch with family and friends, and to obtain information for personal, professional, or educational reasons. However, life as we know it will never be the same, due to the significant impact by the invention of the computer and the internet.