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Technology - Debate Coursework

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Introduction

Does technology create more problems than it solves? In how many ways are people connected to the world? Think about any item that would allow you to communicate to any other person in this room. With the internet, email, instant messaging and mobile phones we have increased tenfold our ways to keep in touch and we can communicate with more people, more often, and more easily. But by communicating through technology, are we communicating less effectively? This issue of ineffective communication is ever present in working life too. Despite spending fortunes on internal communications, major companies are still fighting our techno-obsessed culture. When members of staff persist in emailing a colleague who sits two seats away, we lose the chance to smile at each other and settle for email with a smiley face instead. So when we eventually have to talk to others face to face we tend to not include words which would be considered 'too long' to type. I have even heard shortened words such as LOL used in real conversation! Would it take a longer amount of time just to laugh out loud instead? ...read more.

Middle

One point can be made that language is simply a means of communicating thought. The quicker one can communicate their precise thought, the better. Therefore, if someone can communicate exactly what they're thinking with a single grunt as apposed to a whole paragraph, wouldn't a grunt be a better form of communication? Nonetheless, a single grunt wouldn't do justice, especially in an electronic medium. In person, one can pick up on facial expressions, body languages, and noted pauses in speaking. But in written form, every care must be taken to be very precise, as one cannot read another's facial features, pick up on pauses without punctuation, or tell by the tone of voice. Most of what one is saying is not derived from what is said, but how it is said, hence the need for a solid understanding and use of the written language. Onto more of a serious point, how far do you think away we are from having a 'Big Brother' situation with technology? As a surveillance society, we are caught on CCTV almost 300 times every day, what would happen if this information was somehow released to a malicious group? ...read more.

Conclusion

These are the small thing that we take for granted - but without which there would be dire consequences. We can now call relatives all over the world - a quick email to send important news; instant messaging; web cam chats. All of these are only possible due to advances in technology. So is the recent trend in simplifying words and communicating solely through computers just a trend? My guess would be yes. However advanced technology may get, it will never replace face to face conversation, and one of the main reasons for this would be emotion. Emotion is a key part in communication, how do we know when someone is angry or upset? The tone and cadence of their voice tells us this. This can never be accurately replicated in text - sarcasm is another element that is near impossible to simulate. Losing this would cut a huge hole in the future of all spoken languages. In all I think the benefits of technology will outweigh the drawbacks of using such services. Where would we be if we didn't have cars, computers or even televisions? Although if we continue to simplify English to bare extremes we may end up with a language that is completely different to the one we have today. ...read more.

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