The world today has developed extensively, especially with the Inventions of Information technology. There is now a consideration of the use of mobile phones instead of sending messengers to deliver messages the way it was in the past. With the Invention of the Internet, the world has become as small as a village. This is because it has been possible to interact efficiently with people all over the world with much ease and convenience. Mobile phones have the capacity to write text messages and in the recent past, so many people have developed the culture of texting all the time. Text messaging and the use of Internet social networks as a means of communication have been tremendously beneficial in shaping the modern means of communication. However, the use of mobile phones and the Internet has also come with so many threats and effects on the interaction between individuals. This paper discusses possibility that mobile phones and the internet affect face to face social interactions with others.
Effects of Mobile Phones and the Internet on Face to Face Interactions
During face to face Interactions, text messaging breaks the flow of message between two people talking face to face. An interaction with someone face to face and the person is texting at the same time, there is no doubt that person’s ability to concentrate and participate in the conversation actively is extremely low. Documented evidence by scientists stipulates that the human body cannot multi-task. What human beings do is a diversion of attention from one point to another at different intervals (Hartmann 2008). During face to face communication, the same happen when one person in the conversation is texting and talking at the same time. An impressive text message that hits the communicator’s Inbox will always divert their attention. Therefore, there is poor concentration in the face to face communication.
When people get used to Mobile phone, and the Internet as a means of communication, they do not express themselves successfully in the face to face conversations. This is because a mobile phone has options to input smiley’s and pictures in your message to help communicate your feelings. This does not exist in the face to face communication since they have to use bodily gestures. The people used to communicate in mobile phones are so poor in gestures. Also, text messaging involves the uses of phrases that are sometimes remarkably short and so many short forms. People used to this culture when chatting via text messages or social networks like Facebook on the Internet, have poor social skills when it comes to face to face interactions. These interactions via the mobile phones make them so brief sometimes, and they may be regarded as snobs or dull people by the people who do not understand them. The people prone to excessive text messaging and the use of the internet to communicate mess with their basic communication elements required in the face to face Interactions.
The use of mobile phones is not a free service in either talking or text messaging. Therefore, this habit enhances people to be straightforward in their description and save time for other activities of the day. On the other hand, Face to face Interactions are free, and they can take as long as the two communicators would want them to be (Konijn 2008). People used to communicate through mobile phones are truly straightforward in their questions and Interactions in a face to face setting. This saves time for other resourceful activities.
The use of mobile phones and the Internet also have an effect on the user’s confidence during the setting of a face to face Interaction. This is common among the teenagers who have been extensively using the social media for Interaction with their friends. When the need arises for teenagers to stand in the public to say a word, they find themselves blushing off because they are not used to, and they do not have the confidence. This does not mean that these individuals lack anything to say. The truth is that it is much easier for them to update a Facebook status than to communicate fluently in a face to face conversation. Face to face conversations make them feel nervous and awkward whenever they occur and this make these conversations be not highly effective.
There are problems that arise when text messaging or online chats in social media, These problems occur since certain social elements of a conversation that are missed because they cannot be passed over the phone. These elements include; tone of the voice, inflection and other non-verbal indicators. Text messaging or social media charts do not have this provision. Therefore, they predispose the users of these modern means of communication to a possibility of losing these social skills. The people who use mobile phones extensively have also been found to be affected by this disadvantage, and they can barely communicate in non-verbal cues in a face to face conversation.
The Idea of the current situation not getting the attention it deserves comes with the use of mobile phones. This occurs during face to face moments with people so dear to us like family members. The idea of being present to the current happenings of the surrounding disappears due to the obsession that comes with text messaging. Some time people are driven away so much by the conversations via mobile phones, that they do not even realize the real setting of their conversation at the moment. In fact, some people appear like they are being ignorant or just disrespectful, but they are honestly thinking too extremely far (Wright 2011). The mere act of responding to a text message or listening to some sweet music in your phone when another person is near you appear rude and it may affect face to face conversations.
Another way in which the extensive use of mobile phones and the Internet affect face to face communication divided attention. A good example to explain this is when a person is being given key instructions in a face to face conversation. If by any chance, the person happens to be busy chatting in the Internet, perhaps making change on his Facebook timeline, this means that the person would not even hear a single thing.
Also, with the Increasing mobile phone usage, to text and chat on online social cite, face to face conversations have suffered the use of poor grammar in communication. This occurs since people are used to the language used in these social sites. This language may not be understandable to people who are not around the same age, and it affects the communication and writing skills, grammar and spelling among scholars. The sloppy expressions used in social media, by texting with age mates, especially among teenagers, affect the performance of their brains, and motivate sloppy thinking patterns too (Bruijn 2009). When face to face Interactions ensue at the same time when someone is texting, these individuals ignore the one factor that is least entertaining. It is true that teenagers are fond of reading jokes all over the Internet. Therefore, if a friend forwards a joke at the same time a person is receiving constructive life building advise they harness their attention to these jokes. This is a disruption of life priorities, and this makes the youth and teenagers to lack seriousness.
Shy individuals prefer texting than face to face conversations because they feel nervous. This is not the right way to face such an issue since courage for face to face conversations can be developed gradually. People who are shy and are used to communicating with mobile phone end up suffering embarrassment in most cases during their face to face conversations, especially when talking to people of the opposite text. These people used to texting have exceedingly poor social skills if any and they can hardly express themselves. Criminals also prefer using cell phones and the Internet as a way of issuing threats since face to face conversations may be used to detect deception from a criminal. The use of Mobile phones in our day lives also has a positive influence on face to face Interactions. This is because cell phones enhance the users to connect fast and effectively to help connect with people and set up meetings. Since the use, of mobile phones enables fast access to the people close to one’s life, it is extremely Influential in shaping face to face Interactions bearing in mind that In case one needs help, he only dials the numbers of people close to him (Pearson Education 2010).
From the foregoing, it is indisputably clear that the excessive use of mobile phones is affecting the face to face interactions of so many people across the world. Perhaps people should consider mild use of social networks or text messaging during a face to face interaction in the public. Also, parents should discourage the practice of texting all the time since it has been proven to affect concentration during a face to face Interaction. Before the existence of Mobile phones and Internet social networks, human face to face Interaction was a tremendously vital aspect in the society. However, this form of Interaction is at stake of facing extinction. Therefore, the young people should be sensitized against the extensive use of social networks and mobile phones in their interpersonal relationships.