Its everywhere: The use of technology.

As our technology progresses and advances, the use of IT gadgets and cyberspace have became part of our essential tools for communication. We often find ourselves engaging in all sorts of online social networking activities such as facebook, twitter, instant messaging, emails and blogs. Adding on to that, we are immersing in our smart phones, smsing or whatsapp-ing whenever we could; especially when we are bored.

In this article(, a rising number of academics say Twitter and Facebook don’t connect people – they isolate them from reality. One such academic, Turkle, views that technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human. Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world. However, defenders say theirs is just a different form of communication that people might have trouble getting used to. Also, the defenders pointed out that emails, Twitter and Facebook have led to more communication, not less – especially for people who may have trouble meeting in the real world because of great distance or social difference.

Both parties have different forms of perceptions toward this issue. Perhaps its how they have experience such communication through the society thus influence their selection in the perception process. In Turkle’s case, she had been at funerals where people checked their iPhones. Compared to the past, where people gathered in such event to have one last opportunity to view the deceased and say good-bye without engrossing in their phones. Such action contradicts with the normal script and is interpreted as disrespect for the dead and the immediate family by Turkle. Same goes for such contradicting actions of being occupied using the phones during a meal or a gathering; which beat the purpose of catching up where people are supposed to talk to each other. In which leads her to the perception of that technology is dominating our lives and make us less human.

On the other hand, one of the defenders, Kist noted that before everyone travelled on the bus or train with their heads buried in an iPad or a smart phone, they usually just travelled in silence. This is the normal script in the train where we did not see people spontaneously talking to strangers; we were just keeping to ourselves. Also, such technology as emails, Twitter and Facebook compared to mailing helps people to communicate better cross the world as one could get their message across to the other half of the world within seconds. From here, the defenders see the use of such technology does not contradict with the normal norm in our lives and also improves on it. Thus, leads to their perception that technology is a different form of communication which helps us communicates better.

Both sides have their own reasons; neither is wrong. However each side tend to oversimplificaton where they concentrates on a single aspect of the problem while disregarding others.

From my point of view, I agree with the defenders where such activities are considered as a form of communication. From social networking sites, we create conversations, events and get information about others (such as what is on their mind) and with those we make a respond. Thus, through the use of technology, we are communicating with each other non-verbally. I too, agreed with Turkle that technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human. Many of us are spending too much time on our gadgets and are over-doing it. As such, during a meal, none are talking to each other across the table and were engrossing in their own phones, have become something that freaks people out(including me). It feel like we are isolating each other in the real world.

Perphaps for some of us, sitting face to face with a computer/phone, feel safe and are able to express more freely than having a verbal face to face interaction. Granted there are others who are exceptions; being more expressive in the reality. However, the down side of such communication is that we could no longer see the other reactions when conversing; lack of the physical/human interactions. Many of such times, through the use of words and typos, we have to read within the lines to perceive how the other party felt. Sometimes this could lead to misunderstandings as people tend to perceive things differently.

The use of technology is a form of communication and is useful to a certain extend. Nevertheless, we should restrict the amount of time we spent on such online social networking and should hang out together more often.


Smurf it!


Ever since the release of The Smurfs 3D movie, this group of small blue fictional creatures has raised to fame. For those who do not know what Smurfs are, here is a brief info: Smurfs lived in a part of the world called “le Pays maudit” hidden away from the humans. They are just three apples high with blue skin, dressed in white trousers or dress with white hat (aside from Papa Smurf who wears red). Each Smurf has a unique personality and profession, and thus, contributes it to Smurf society as he or she can.

In the movie, the Smurfs are forced through a portal, out of their world and into ours, landing in the middle of New York’s Central Park. The Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down and captures them for their smurf essence.

Lost in the new environment, the Smurfs, experience new things through social constructionist perspective. Processing these never-seen-before things in their own culturally recognizable ways and relating these things to the facts that they know – such as relating Google software with magic, thus calling Google, a magic searching device.

Take a look at the Smurf community where communication surrounds the smurfs and holds their world together. The community takes the form of a sharing, cooperative and kind environment. Smurfs provided by their culture, using tools to create these collective representations of reality such as their own language, cultural traditions and shared roles and rules.

For instance, the language that smurfs use known as the Smurf language. Frequent use of the word “smurf” is the distinctive feature
of their language, and is interpreted in a variety of meanings which make their conversation understandable among them; barely understandable by us and Patrick. The Smurfs replace nouns and verbs in everyday speech with “smurf” like for, example: “I am smurfing to the smurf.”

Below shows a clip from the movie where Smurf language had annoyed Patrick.

The use of language is the primary way in which we, including the Smurfs communicate with one another. By means of language, we communicate ideas, information, and even attitudes to people around us or the next generation. As two different cultures meet, problems tend to arise when we come into contact due to the different ways of communication just as shown in the clip; where Patrick simply blew up at the smurfs whom in turn were offended by what Patrick had said. All it takes is for both sides to understand the other’s culture and find a new way to communicate. Through the use of language, communication both reflects and shapes ones cultural experiences.

Communications play a crucial part in one’s life. Its significance for ours and Smurfs life is hard to overstate.

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