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  • 1.  Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-13-2022 11:43
    Some days I'm so grateful for Zoom, because I can "see" my brothers and sister on a regular basis (we live all over the United States). Also, as an introvert, I'm more likely to keep in touch with a quick text than a phone call, and I'm less likely to let friends drift out of my life. And let's not forget about the cool people I've met on Connect :) On the other hand, I get frustrated and disturbed when I see online interactions between people who don't necessarily know each other escalate and get mean quickly. Technology has become an important part of human interactions, and is especially tricky when it comes to raising kids. Since building relationships is one of the traits that defines our humanity--do you think technology is a friend or foe?

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    Maria Liccardo
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  • 2.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-14-2022 10:20
    I struggle with this question a lot, @Maria Liccardo.
    I thought about the power of connection last night when texting with a friend who I haven't seen since the beginning of the pandemic. She lives in Michigan and we haven't really found a time that makes sense for either of us to visit. I'm really grateful for texting, and FaceTime, and social media - as they've kept us close. It's also really nice to hear from people randomly - just this morning  saw a facebook message from a friend from high school and it brought a smile to my face.

    But wow, what a decisive tool it can be, too.  ​I see so many people arguing, getting so angry with each other. And screen fatigue is certainly a big factor! 

    If I had to choose, I'd choose a life WITH technology over not, but if I could have my ultimate world... I'd pick technology WITH screen limits for all of us. I feel like that might help us stay positive when we're on screens - to use them for good over evil - and to help us balance it all with other activities.

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    Stay awesome,
    Quinn
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  • 3.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-14-2022 10:29
    That is such a great idea! I know many parents limit screen time for their kids, it could become a cultural norm for each one of us to have screen limits! I think that's your million dollar idea @Quinn Drew! ​

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    Maria Liccardo
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  • 4.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-14-2022 11:31
    Well said. It can be helpful in staying in touch and extremely helpful with meeting coordination. It does lack the intrinsic benefits of meeting people in person. Social media as a whole I think makes it much easier for individuals to say negative things they wouldn't say in face to face interactions. People need to monitor themselves.

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    Jim Wales
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  • 5.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-14-2022 13:10
    @Jim Wales, I agree, there are so many benefits to meeting in person. Having a group brainstorm or collaboration can be challenging over Zoom due to the lack of cues regarding who is planning to speak next--there can be lots of talking over one another or long pauses. When we're in person, it's easier to riff off other people's ideas and gather momentum within the group.

    We've proven that we can be productive working remotely, but personally I'm looking forward to going back to the office for the in-person interactions. There are many colleagues I don't work with directly but I would chat with them on the elevator or have a passing conversation in the hallway. Now I haven't talked to them in almost two years (and I may have forgotten their names!). 

    Also, I have eye fatigue at the end of nearly every work-from-home day, with bleary and burning eyes. I'm looking forward to looking at people, not a screen!

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    Maria Liccardo
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  • 6.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-29-2022 16:43
    Hello Maria!

    Technology is my frenemy... lol I love ZOOM, Skype, Bluejeans etc.  My white collar friends who get to work from home love technology. However, nothing takes the place of human connection. They miss coffee with friends and drinks with clients. When I do volunteer work, virtual work, onsite work, or onsite volunteer work, I feel it is all equally important. When we have food drives, you have to get in there live and in person in order to work and that comradery is very cherished.  
    Then there is the dark side.... everyone is not tech savvy.  Companies force people to provide their own software and hardware and internet... saving the companies millions. However, taking someone who is used to being a bureaucrat and paper pusher and then telling them they need to be an expert in MS Sharepoint, MS meetings, Excel, and a host of other software titles with no training or assistance is a bit daunting. Computer brains are cleaning up and are in high demand, laborers ( like for Amazon and Fedex) are in high demand, but a lot of people get stuck in the middle.

    I think technology has become too important. I make it a phones down time at dinner and during Zoom calls. You are at dinner or you are in a meeting.  Computers have taken the place of teachers and parents. It messes up human's ability to interact in the real world. Education, dating, ordering food, health care; too much is done via computer. My block's lights went down for 7 hours and you would have thought aliens were invading. I told neighbors to make the kids play outside with a ball with their siblings, walk the dogs... no dog? Walk the elderly neighbor's dog, read a book while it is light outside, oh kindle is down? Walk to the library and renew your card and get a few. Go walk in the park as a large spaced out group, grill up your meat in the back yard. There were so many options. 
    Yes I was annoying ( smile ) I was also the go to for rides, getting medicine, getting food, information on vaccines, tutoring, so they tolerate me. I love my computers. However, like a  sweetheart, you don't want to appear too needy.
    I'll save my rant about the metaverse for after we've had drinks.

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    Melissa Mitchell
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  • 7.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-31-2022 09:39
    I wish there was a "heart" button instead of just a "like," Melissa! I love your take! I, too, am divided on technology. It's a truly complicated relationship, isn't it? Living with it frustrates us, but living without it would be just as frustrating. Like everything, we need to strike a balance in how we deal with it, but that doesn't put to rest the other more malignant aspects of technology (social media, hacking, easier to steal identities and other personal info, etc.).  But learn to live with it we must, because it's only going to get more intense (artificial intelligence, anyone?).  Sigh.

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    Maria Mooshil
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  • 8.  RE: Is technology helping human relationships?

    Posted 01-31-2022 16:29
    @Melissa Mitchell, you sound like the world's best neighbor! It's so interesting to hear about everyone's love/hate relationship with technology. I try to stay away from the computer screen as much as possible when I'm not working. I get so tired of screens and love being outside, even in the Chicago winter! 

    I have some friends who have elementary & middle school-aged kids, and they have major battles trying to peel their kids away from video games. Apparently Fortnite is pretty addictive, and drives parents bonkers, causing nearly daily fights over screen time, and really affecting parent-child relationships. I'm wondering if there are any Connector parents out there with Fortnite (or other video game) experience or advice for others struggling with screen time?

    Also, thanks for giving me a big smile at the end...I would love to talk metaverse over drinks someday!!​​

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    Maria Liccardo
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