In today’s complex society, smartphones play an important role in socialization. Due to advances in mobile phone technology, people can stay in touch with family and friends via such social network sites as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, regardless of distance or geographical location.
At the same time, many people question the quality of social interaction that smart phones have to offer. Smartphone connections via Facebook, texting, Instagram, etc., are often limited to brief, transitory messages that come short of cultivating strong relationships. For some people, online socialization can be best summed up as “too much chatter, too little real conversation.”
When evaluating the effects of smartphone technology on social interactions, consider the following:
Importance of Communication
Communication is a basic need that people can’t do without. Through communication, we gain a better understanding of ourselves and others. Modern technical advances such as smartphones, Internet and laptop computers enable us to keep up with the communication needs of our rapidly changing society. The influence of smartphone technology and the development of a range of different devices in the areas of communication and socialization is felt in countries all over the world. Online socialization via the use of smart phones helps to bring people together by strengthening their connection with the world around them. In this respect, smartphones can serve to enrich people’s lives.
Positive Aspects of Socializing Via Smart Phone Technology
Smartphones help expand a person’s social horizons by opening up an expansive online network for social interactions. Online socialization isn’t meant to replace personal interactions, but rather to provide a supplemental means of communicating with others. Online social ties give you a link with people you may not otherwise keep in touch with due to distance, geographical location, demanding work schedule or family obligations.
As most mobile devices share similar technology, smartphone users can interact liberally with family, friends and business acquaintances through texting or on social sites. Every single smartphone on the market comes with built in messaging services and new developments have also allowed for built in app stores where social media and further messaging apps can be installed onto the device. With every smartphone comes a different handful of options to suit your needs, whether you want to have endless hours of talk time or unlimited messages, there are a wide range of plans that can be tailored to the user, some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 even offer unlimited talk, text and data, so the capability to talk to whoever you want whenever you want really is incredible.
Virtual socialization also opens the door to meeting new people, establishing new business contacts and making new friends from the safety and comfort of your home or office. As a social media user, you have the opportunity to communicate with people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, greatly expanding your circle of friends.
Negative Aspects of Social Interactions Using Smartphone Technology
On the flip side, there are some negative aspects to using smartphone technology for social interactions. Relying too much on your smartphone for connecting with others could interfere with establishing “brick and mortar” relationships in the real world. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with virtual friendships, they shouldn’t replace real-world connections with others or cause people to back away from that personal touch.
Strong communication and social skills are built through personal interactions with others. These skills are essential for cultivating strong relationships, building a career, raising a family and more. People who depend too much on virtual socialization could lose out on acquiring vital social skills required for personal growth.
Smartphone social connections are often quick, brief missives commenting on a particular subject or thought. Such communications lack the clarity and depth that live encounters have to offer. When it comes to bonding with others or taking a relationship to a deeper level, people need the human touch that personal interactions provide.
By maintaining a proper balance between online socialization and human interaction, people can get the best of what both have to offer. Socializing via smartphone technology is here to stay. Used properly, it can be effective as a social tool to keep people connected to personal family, friends and the world around them.