How has Technology Affected Human Interaction?

How has Technology Affected Human Interaction?

Technology has had a huge impact on how human beings interact in this modern age. In the past, human-to-human interactions were an integral part of the human social circle and cycle as people went about their daily activities. Fast forward, rapid innovations have altered how humans interact with each other and how they go about their businesses.

To improve the customer experience, which reduces shopping time, increases satisfaction from shopping, and reduces delivery time and inconveniences, organisations have opted to go the human-to-machine interaction way. Today, you can walk into a convenience store or a food store and do all your shopping without any human interaction.

In other instances, and at the convenience of your smartphone or computer, you can place an order from the local eatery and small autonomous vehicles will deliver your order to your doorstep. In the whole chain, you will not interact with any human being at all. The challenge comes when the expected experience isn’t what one looks forward to. For instance, receiving the wrong order or flavour for your ice cream.

Not only has technology enhanced shopping experiences, it has also revolutionised how we communicate. Today, it doesn’t matter how many miles away one is, it is very possible to talk to people across the globe using any of the more than a dozen applications in the market. A WhatsApp call or text, a Facebook message or call, a tweet, or a Skype call just to name a few can connect us to our friends and relatives all over the world.

Ultimately, all these development seems to be aimed at reducing human efforts and improving human lifestyle efficiency. Instead of walking to the local store to get the household items, why not order online and have them delivered to your doorstep? Or why all the hassle of driving to visit your friends when a WhatsApp video call does let alone write a letter and post it?

A critical look at the argument of reducing human effort and improving human convenience seems to point to some startling developments. The first one relates to widening the generational gap in the sense that the older generation that struggles with technology has problems with fully harnessing its benefits which leads to conflict with the younger generation who wonder why the older folks can’t see things the way they see them.

We, the users of technology, are responsible for how technology impacts our human interaction. Photo Credit: Shane’s

Secondly, there is an increasing belief among people that yes, we are living in such a time of greater technological innovation that has made the world a global village yet to some, it is a period of greater solitude. A period of unprecedented social connectedness void of genuine human connection and care. It is not surprising that a celebrity has over a million followers and the next time you check they are in the news and it is about their death due to depression. That is the paradox of the times in which we are living.

What the latter means is that we are in such a time where one may look like they have a lot of friends and social connections yet they are all but at a superficial level of connection. The quality of social connections is a big issue. It is not defined by how many followers one has on social media or how many contacts one has in his/her phonebook. Quality is by both verbal and non-verbal cues during the exchange of information. Non-verbal cues are best observed and in other cases felt when people get an opportunity to share a one-on-one moment.

It is indisputable that the quality of life has improved along with technological innovations, especially regarding health and the comforts of life. Healthcare as an important factor in defining the quality of life has made strides in making a lot of diseases preventable and healable. Pain during treatment has been able to be suppressed to a large extent courtesy of healthcare innovation and such aspects as targetted drug delivery have made it possible to attack malignant growths at their precise places in the body. Thus, life expectancy has gone up making us have our loved ones around us for longer.

Despite all those improvements made possible by technological innovations, happiness among people has not seen equivalent growth. Looking at what makes people happy, 80% have to do with service to people or interaction with people. Helping others, cultivating strong relationships, making time for family and friends, spending time out with others, and forming and maintaining positive relationships among others are some of the things that people define as making them happy.

In this case, technology is never the end in itself but a means to an end. Technology becomes an enabler of improving the quality of human interaction when used well. It is not meant to replace human interaction altogether. When technology replaces human interaction completely, it leads to low-quality human relations which overall affects the quality of life. People become more isolated or as in the case of faked lifestyles on social media, leads to unnecessary human animosities courtesy of bubble competition.

In conclusion, technology has brought a lot of benefits to us and changed, for the better, how we carry out our activities and thus improved our quality of life. However, depending on how far we would want to allow technology to invade our social interactions as people, technology can also lead to negative effects on the quality of human social interaction. It all depends on us the users of the technology – the people.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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