The effects of technology on socialization skills are summarized in Drago’s study, which established that technology has a negative effect on the quality and quantity of interpersonal interactions (Drago, 2015). Despite other factions arguing otherwise, there is growing empirical evidence showing that technology is detrimental to socialization skills. The rapid growth in technologies, especially social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Circles, and others, has enabled individuals to communicate and interact from the comfort of their seats and even carry out group conversations. Concerns have been raised, notably, of the time adolescents and youths spend on their phones and PCs at the expense of face-to-face conversations with their peers (Drago, 2015). Consequently, they have resulted to using technology as an escape, an avoidance strategy towards face-to-face communication. Phones are the major culprit because they are the main destruction to kids whose poor communication skills incapacitate them from carrying out small talk or resolving conflicts, which is likely to impact their career lives negatively.
Socialization skills aside, technology, especially the internet, has its share of pros and cons. Technology has improved efficiency of doing things by enabling tasks such as purchasing, service provision, communication, business transactions, and others to be done online at a click of a button (Drago, 2015). Technology enables businesses to save time, cut down on cost, and meet expectations of their customers, improving competitiveness and profitability in the process. These benefits have no association whatsoever to socialization skills. However, technology can also be harmful in many instances. The argument raised is that emphasis has been placed on innovations and imitations with minimal concerns for online security. Through use of technology, individuals and businesses can be vulnerable to online fraud and theft, including their personal details being used by hackers to commit crime.
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Regardless of the pros and cons of technology, perceptions of its contribution to advancement in socialization skills remain a concern. Drago (2015) reported that census findings on the use of technology reported that in 2011, 76% of households having a computer and 72% internet connectivity. In 2013, 90% of American adults were reported to have a cellphone, and this figure was even higher among youths (97%) (Drago, 2015). These statistics point to the growing dependence on technology, hence the diminishing ability to socialize physically. In a study by Engelberg and Sjöberg (2004) examining the extent of the relationship between inter-personal skills, personality, and emotional intelligence (EI) and that of internet usage, it was established that internet usage was not only related to loneliness and adherence to idiosyncratic values (strong effects), but also to poorer balance between work and leisure and emotional intelligence (weaker effects). This may be the theoretical explanation of the negative effects of technology on social skills.
Drago, E. (2015). The effect of technology on face-to-face communication. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications , 6 (1), 13-19.
Engelberg, E., & Sjöberg, L. (2004). Internet use, social skills, and adjustment. CyberPsychology & Behavior , 7 (1), 41-47.