If you were to take a look around you, what would you see? I find myself looking around and seeing many individuals having social interactions. However, most of these “social” interactions are not done face to face, but instead through the use of technology. Today, we use cell phones, computers, apps, and other resources to communicate with one another. I sometimes stop and think, “How has socialization with others changed throughout the generations by the use of technology?”
Since I have only been on this earth for 25 years, my understanding of how socialization has changed through the generations will be limited by my own assumptions and experiences. I often wonder what will come from spending so much time looking at a screen. Will we eventually lose the ability to understand body language or have basic interactions with each other face to face? Will we be so focused on the virtual world that we’ll stop to take time in the world around us? Don’t get me wrong, I love how technology has brought us closer to one another and given us so many advantages. But I also think there are things we tend to overlook.
Growing up, most of the entertainment we had was each other or playing outdoors. This forced us to go out and discover how to make new friends and relationships with others. Our house ended up being the house every kid in the neighborhood wanted to go to hang out. Even though cellphones existed growing up, my family relied on landline phones to communicate with others. If I wanted to make plans with friends, I just had to call. Nowadays you just have to send a text or an event reminder to schedule something. Before phones, people communicated through word of mouth or by writing letters. I sometimes have difficulty waiting for a response through text, can you imagine how long you would have to wait for a response in the shape of a letter?
I know I could learn quite a few lessons from older generations. One important lesson I have learned from my grandparents is that relationships are worth more than gold or silver. We must learn to find the value of the people in our lives and find ways to show them we love them. I find in each generation, there are different ways we connect. I work with our church youth group and I am constantly finding out they love to be encouraged through text or by the use of social media. This is something I am still learning and growing in since I am more of a face to face person. However, my mom and dad love to talk on the phone and hear from me. I find myself having some really neat conversations with them over the phone whereas when we text it is not as valuable or enjoyable for them. I also found that writing letters to my grandparents or taking the effort to visit them touched their hearts so much more than receiving a Facebook message or text.
There are so many ways to interact with people compared to other generations. Each individual has their own way they like to interact with others whether that be through social media, text, phone call, email, letter, or postcard. Technology has made connecting with others so effortless. We are able to reach people all over the world from the tips of our fingers instead of through the tip of a pen. When thinking about how interactions have changed through generations, it is crazy to see how far we have come. However, we should never take for granted the power of a face to face interaction.