Modern technology is changing our world: for better or worse?


Amanda Eacho, Staff Reporter

There can be no debate that modern technology has changed society and the way people communicate with one another around the world. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and many other social media networks have made this generation more connected than at any other time in history. So why do many people feel so disconnected? Near instantaneous connectivity has made talking to loved ones much easier and more efficient, but at what cost? Despite the benefits of instant communication, it has also ruined the way society communicates as a whole. 

In today’s society, cell phones are the main method of communication and socialization. In fact, 97% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind ( Phones can help people stay in touch with friends and family in ways that were difficult in the past. Before the invention of cell phones, if a friend went on vacation for a few weeks, that person was unreachable and the stories about the trip would have to wait until they returned. Now it’s as if they’ve never left, only the backgrounds have changed. 

According to Dr. Lisabeth Saunders Medlock, a well known life coach and psychologist, people are in the habit of checking their phones frequently. Many think that they will miss something if they don’t check their phone. Saunders Medlock believes that this reliance is having a negative effect on people’s interpersonal skills. “The use of texting and Facebook and Twitter and other sites as a form of communication is eroding people’s ability to write sentences that communicate real meaning and inhibit the art of dialogue.” (

However, General Program Studies Director at South University, Todd Starkweather disagrees. He says that people still need to watch what they say and be able to effectively write meaningful sentences to avoid mishaps and that “the mobile phone has made it easier to amplify those mistakes.” The backlash from poorly worded or insensitive posts has led to the “cancel culture” phenomenon. Countless celebrities have been “canceled” after saying something that was controversial and offensive to a segment of the public.Whether this is deserved or not, it can destroy a person’s image and livelihood in the time it takes to Tweet. 

Although the extent of the impact is still up for debate, there’s no denying that cell phones have changed the way people communicate. Researchers have found that when asked, 89% of Americans admitted to taking out a phone in their last in-person conversation with someone and 82% of those people said that it hurt the conversation ( Young people rely on text messaging as their primary method of communication. The urge to check their phone every time a notification sounds just in case it’s something important, causes them to miss out on what’s happening around them. Look around a public area and a majority of the people in that area are more than likely on their phones.

A phone addiction is growing, and with it a collective feeling of disconnectedness is beginning to impact young people. In an attempt to combat this problem, Apple and Samsung have set up app limits and scheduled downtime that gives a person a chance to set down their phones and reconnect with the world around them.