Synthesis Essay: Negative Effects of Technology on Communication

Article Information
Today’s technology advances have expanded exponentially, a factor that, according to Qualman (2011), is an effect of the internet and smartphone use among the public. Since the turn of the century, the internet has become the most significant tool in society. Indeed, it has allowed individuals from different areas of the world to communicate within an instant. The sharing of large amounts of information was unseen in previous eras. Social networking platforms such as WhatsApp, Tweeter, and Facebook are products of increased internet use. Nevertheless, the technological marvel that is the internet did not reach its full potential until the introduction of the ‘Smart device’ such as the smartphone and electronic tablet. These devices granted social networks such as Twitter and Facebook a platform that allowed billions of people to communicate. Despite the advantages drawn from the advancement in technology there have been a number of issues that have been highlighted of its negative effect on conversations.

Ted Talk link.Sherry Turkle in her TED talk lecture Connected, but alone

Sherry Turkle in her TED talk lecture Connected, but alone indicated that the society has become plugged into their devices to the point that people while having dinner with their families, during meetings at work as well as in social gatherings such as funerals.

Article PDF or link. What Are the Positive & Negative Effects of Using Technology to Communicate?

Shannon Webster in her article What Are the Positive & Negative Effects of Using Technology to Communicate? Highlighted the importance as well as the adversities brought about by using latest technology while passing information. The topics that are the center of the article are based on the extent to which technology such as Email, Text messaging, instant messaging as well as social media has affected the information presented; consequently affecting communication.

Article PDF or link. The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication.

Emily Drago on the other hand unlike Sherry Turkle and Shannon Webster went a step further in highlighting the negative effects of technology on communication by conducting a filed study research about the engagement people have with their smart devices or cell phones, other technologies and with each other in face-to-face situations.

Subject of the articles/talk:

The Sherry Turkle TED talk lecture Connected, but alone presented in 2012 is a detailed, informative and captivating talk that clearly indicated the dehumanization of how people communicate today. The speaker is clear in her presentation indicating that technological advancement in communicating is a marvel and inevitable. Nevertheless, she indicates the negative effects these technologies have brought to society in a manner where children lack attention from their parents or workmates lose their workmanship to emails.

Theme you invented from the articles:

Smart devices are responsible for the decline of oral mode of communication. On the streets, in coffee shops, homes, and workplaces, the most synonymous gadgets are the smartphone and electronic tablet. Individuals are spending more time on these gadgets than they do in face-to-face conversation.

In summary, the talk as presented by Sherry Turkle in her TED talk lecture Connected, but alone indicates that there is a need for the society to switch off their phones as regain the art of conversation (Turkle 2012, She indicates that there is a need for self-discovery through face-to-face communication as well as a connection that would re-introduce a phenomenon of companionship and friendship and not online followers. Shannon Webster on the other hand is vivid on drawing the line between the good and the bad effect of technology. The author is descriptive in explaining that there is a clear indication of how technology has made communication a ‘tough and go’ process that is convenient in one part and miss informative on the other. Emily Drago Field observations, as well as an analysis of previously directed offered the proof that indicated that the rapid expansion of technology is depressingly affecting face-to-face communication. Individuals are currently more reliant on communicating with friends and family while using their devices as well as consequently neglecting to engage personally, even when in presence of their audience.

Synthesis Essay Worksheet 2
Sherry Turkle in her TED talk lecture Connected, but alone, as aforementioned, provided a detailed informed talk on the negative aspects of technology in communication. In doing so she highlighted a variety of points as presented below.

Due to smartphones, parents are not granting much attention to their children who need direct time with them. This is a factor that drives the children to social networks where they believe they are heard. She indicates, “We shortchange ourselves when we sacrifice conversation for mere connection.” Turkle (2012). Undoubtedly, some parents shortchange their children and sacrifice their ‘real lives’ for ‘relationships in bits they can control’ (Turkle 2012, The same happens at work where emails have become the new normal instead of traditional meetings. She indicates, “We even text at funerals” a factor that highlights the decline of the society’s humanity that is a result of new technology.

According to Sherry Turkle “We expect more from technology and less from each other. We create technology to provide the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship” (2012). The smart devices are to blame for the decreasing levels of individuals ‘personal development qualities such as good friendship as well as partnerships. Currently, education is also a risk considering smartphones have made individuals communicate with their fellow students or teachers less than they did before. They have failed to communicate their needs, and the relationship between teachers and students has grown weaker with time because of this technology. As indicated by (Turkle, 2011) it has decreased the allure of learning sessions as students are forced to engage in modes of learning that they do not prefer.
Sherry Turkle in her TED talk lecture “Connected, but alone” indicates that it is time for the community to use technology to recapture the lost art of conversation. “You can end up hiding from each other even as we are all connected to each other.” (Turkle 2012, This is a significant effect that needs to be mended by the avatars that have been created online. Certainly, there is a need for technological developments such as Skype to be used instead of texts and tweets. Nevertheless, Sherry Turkle is not exclusively against the use of technology in communication. Rather, she argues that its overuse has resulted in social, psychology as well as academic decline.

Today, individuals have forgotten a life without technology. The introduction of the internet and different communication gadgets such as smart devices has changed how people communicate. Currently, individuals make friends on Facebook and followers on twitter not on playing fields, or bars while watching sports like they used to before. Conversations have been replaced with connections in the sense that individuals have made communication tailor-made for their needs and wants. This has been highlighted by Sherry Turkle in her Ted lecture, Connected but Alone. She indicates that communicating while using the latest technology is not a negative but a positive aspect. However, the use of social networks to interact with individuals across the society has caused a loss of a part of humanity’s communication. Furthermore, persons comment on a status, text, or tweet while in meetings, funerals as well as denning tables. Consequently, some issues that have been said to show how much the current society has formed bonds with their machines and not fellow compatriots at school or work. It is evident that with technology the art of conversation has been lost. Additionally, as indicated by Qualman (2011) there are additional negative effects, for instance, individuals have had undesirable personal development due to a lack of proper communication.

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Drago, E. (2013). The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication. Elon University PDF retrieved from
Qualman, E. (2011). Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley. Online source retrieved from,+E.+(2011).+Socialnomics:+How+social+media+transforms+the+way+we+live+and+do+business.&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Qualman%2C%20E.%20(2011).%20Socialnomics%3A%20How%20social%20media%20transforms%20the%20way%20we%20live%20and%20do%20business.&f=false
Turkle, S. (2012). Connected, but alone. TED videos. Retrieved from
Webster, S. (2014). What Are the Positive & Negative Effects of Using Technology to Communicate?. Chron Magazine retrieved from