Have you ever named your phone or ipad or laptop? It would only make sense to name something that you spend more time with than you do with anything/anyone else. I have heard death screams from the bathroom which sounded like someone had gotten life changing news, but to find out later it was just the reaction of a girl who dropped her phone in the toilet. This is a common feeling to feel attached to your mobile device. It is our multipurpose-do-everything-you-need-instantly machine and for the most part fairly reliable. But…what if we didn’t have our all-knowing best friend with us at all times? What if we still had to call home for directions before leaving to go somewhere instead of looking up the directions on our phone on the way? What would we do without having an available camera in our hands 90% of the time? Without our beloved gadgets, we would have to take a more purposeful, well-rounded role in our own lives. We would plan our days much differently without our smart phones. Gadgets, like most technology, allows us to only remember information we vitally need and leaves the rest to the gadget. Without needing to call home to figure out how to cook something or to stop by a local store for directions, people can turn more into themselves than ever before. Wellman discusses this movement in “New Social Operating System of Networked Individualism”:
The evidence in our work is that none of these technologies are isolated — or isolating — systems. They are being incorporated into people ’ s social lives much like their predecessors were. People are not hooked on gadgets — they are hooked on each other. When they go on the internet, they are not isolating themselves. They are conversing with others — be they emailers, bloggers, Facebookers, Wikipedians, or even organizational web posters. When people walk down the street texting on their phones, they are obviously communicating. Yet things are different now. In incorporating gadgets into their lives, people have changed the ways they interact with each other. They have become increasingly networked as individuals, rather than embedded in groups. In the world of networked individuals, it is the person who is the focus: not the family, not the work unit, not the neighborhood, and not the social group.
This is quite prevalent in today’s society and especially with our generation. Devices that we are constantly using are quite amazing when you think of how much you can do with basically having a PC in your pocket. I do think regulation of devices should be implemented where people see fit, but understanding the benefits of traditional communication is still vital. Today’s technological innovations and forward thinking have given us tools to make our world a connected place which is important for knowledge transportation and resource distribution. As I mentioned before, our technology gives us a chance to forget skills that we once needed. I think just refreshing our memories of how traditional communication (face-to-face) roots provided a landscape for our communication methods. Wellman describes it best. “After making a good connection via email or texting, they wrote, “ we want to hear the music of each other ’ s voices and we want to see and touch each other.”