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Sophie Kruse | Gamer Girl

Gamer Girl: Technology weakening our social skills

I think our generation is scared of meeting people face-to-face. 

I’m a journalism student, so I’m a little off this norm — I live for talking to strangers and hearing their stories. But I hear struggles from friends and classmates who despise these situations. Some people dread in-class activities because it means having to talk to people you don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the tech advances that make communicating easier and I love being able to text my family when I’m at school. I even taught my grandpa how to text and his messages brighten my day. I love Snapchat, but I mainly use it to bombard my friends with dog pictures. And I’m a total social media junkie — I live on Twitter and Instagram.

Oh, and don’t forget Yik Yak. What could make time between classes go any faster than hearing the secret thoughts of other Bobcats?

But I like face-to-face interactions, too. Is there technology that will take us too far past the normal mode of interactions?

When Google Glass was first announced, I thought it was pretty cool, but it scared me how integrated it would be in a user’s daily life. The Glass would assist with everything you did. To me, it seemed like there would no longer be the privacy of a one-on-one conversation, void of tech interruptions.

As a student, you can now get a degree completely from online classes. You could get your entire degree without leaving the comfort of your home. Lots of professors utilize the clicker system, which allows students to participate without actually participating. Some media classes do Twitter discussion during lectures — essentially promoting students to be on social media during class times. I even have a class that does computer-graded essays to save the professor time.

All these things are great and there’s no doubt that they’re all making our lives easier. But don’t underestimate the value of a normal, tech-free conversation with a friend, family member or better yet, a stranger. It’s something tech can’t beat.

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