Welcome to our poster presentation. Throughout we discuss the future of technology on our interpersonal relationships and ask ourselves, is technology benefiting us or putting a negative impact on our world? But first, what is an interpersonal relationship? According to Education Portal a interpersonal relationship is a social connection with other people, this can include brief interactions or long enduring ones. While keeping that in mind we discuss many different types of technology and how we believe the technology is going to progress and affect us in the future of 2025. Discussing virtual realities, holographs, social networks and MOOCs all throughout this project.
Pros and Cons
There are many pros and cons in regard to technology being involved with interpersonal relationships. As we continue in time and look into the future these positive as well as negative aspects will without a doubt become more prominent.
Networking has always been a vital part in connecting with people and an important part of interpersonal relationships, according to Strategic Business Network, networking is important because it is “about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships.” (Strategic Business Network, 2011) This is important for many different reasons, but specifically if we discuss jobs, it is important to meet people and get to know them. Now and into the future, we have social networking sites specifically for that purpose. We have LinkedIn, which allows you to post your resume and interact with other people searching for jobs or searching for employees, but is this an effect way to do this? Some would say yes, some no. This case does have both pros and cons to it. It is a positive way to get to know people and look specifically for the job you are looking for, you get to know people online and get to know the business that you would potentially be looking to work for. Where is the personal interaction? It is difficult to decide if you would mesh well with the team if you do not interact with them on several occasions. We do understand, if your resume was what the employer was looking for you would have an interview, but this technology is cutting the opportunity for a relationship in half. In the past, and still now (although it is decreasing) people would go in, talk to the employer and get a feel for the environment. In the future it seems as though that will be lost, and everyone will use social networking to get him or herself out into the business world.
Another situation would be entertainment; different types of technology that are coming into the market are specifically for entertainment purposes these days. With virtual realities, people have the opportunity to interact with others online based on the similar interests they have. This can again connect people to potentially meet-up but we have all heard how those stories go. Not well. In the future we foresee an increase of virtual reality, which can have both good and bad effect to its users. Although you would still have some social interactions it can also become addictive to the user. Feeling as though the game is more of a need rather then a want. Having people feel as though they have more social interactions online rather then in person can effect your interpersonal relationships drastically.
Effects of Social Media
Before social media the norm for communication and forming relationships was done either in person or on the phone. As technology advanced and the internet become increasingly popular, people now are able to connect and talk to each other via the internet. They are able to talk to whoever they want where ever they want at any time given. This method of communicating is slowly changing the way people interact with each other. Over the last few years social media has quickly become a part of our social dynamic. People are either on their phones texting each other or on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter communicating like never before. A lot of information sharing between people happens now online. Building relationships is quicker and easier. There are some good things that have come from social media and the way they affect our relationships. People tend to feel more comfortable expressing their true feelings behind a screen rather than in person. Deeper connections are made. There are also damaging consequences that people face when building a relationship online. R.Farrugia (2013) asks an important question “Could Facebook be the demise of intimate relationships in the future?” (p6). It’s hard to say. There’s a good and a bad to everything. The more social media use increases to more tolerant we become to changes in our future social structure.
Social media is slowly changing the method people interact with each other. New types of social habits are starting to form. These new habits can be beneficial to relationships. In a thesis about Facebook and Relationships written by R.Farrugia (2013), she quotes “Whitty (2008) CMC (computer meditated communication) might actually be a better way for people to communicate because individuals are more likely to be their true self online.” When a person can express their true feelings, deeper connections are made. These connections can run so deep that it can override the need for physical intimacy. In the future online forms of serious relations will become more and more common. Human needs for physical touch and intimacy will be fulfilled through deep connecting conversations online instead because people are able to express their true feelings more than compared to face to face.
Social media can have negative effects on partners in a relationship as well. Increased anxiety about if their partner is staying faithful, monitoring who they talk to, seeing what kind of pictures they upload, all of these things are becoming more common when forming a relationship. According to Utz and Beukeboom (2011) “monitoring a partner through Facebook is “almost” the socially acceptable way to check up on your partner”. Constant surveillance is much easier thanks to social media. A lot of what we do day to day can and is posted online. This can be damaging to a relationship when a partner does something online that the other does not agree with. “For an individual who has insecurities, they may find their partners online actions to be a flaw” (Rau, Gao, & Ding, 2008). This also goes for when looking for a partner online. What someone posts online now represents that persons values. If a profile is filled with offensive images potential partners will become uninterested because they perceive what is posted online represents that persons values. When it comes to being able to see everything a partner does online or find a suitable partner online through social media relationships become complicated which can cause extra stress. Will these issues people face now with social media and relationships improve in the future? There is possibly for things to get better by changing the way we react to online interactions, and by changing the way we present ourselves online.
For when it comes to the future of social media and its connection to relationships a “study was fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center” (J.Anderson & L.Rainie, 2010). A survey was conducted asking if people believed the internet either improved their personal relationships and if it will grow more in the future. A total of 895 people took the survey, 371 responses coming from professional technology stakeholders and critics. The results turned out to be very positive. 85% of people agreed that the internet was beneficial to them and their relationships and that this will increase in the future. “Many enthusiastically cited their personal experiences as examples, and several noted that they had met their spouse through internet-borne interaction” (J.Anderson & L.Rainie, 2010). If it was not for the internet these relationships would not have been made. In the future this could be the most common way for people to create relationships. Only 14% disagreed that the internet is beneficial to them and their relationships. “Among the negatives noted by both groups of respondents: time spent online robs time from important face-to-face relationships; the internet fosters mostly shallow relationships; the act of leveraging the internet to engage in social connection exposes private information; the internet allows people to silo themselves, limiting their exposure to new ideas; and the internet is being used to engender intolerance” (J.Anderson & L.Rainie, 2010). While these beliefs are true and have happened to people in the past it seems here that the good could outweigh the bad. Does this mean in the future social relationships will become more enhanced? It’s kind of hard to tell. By 2025 almost all relationships will be formed through the use of social media but will this alter the ability for people to connect online? Will it enhance the connections made or create more isolation issues? “Both 2020 scenarios presented in the survey are accurate; new human connectivity through use of the internet is a blessing and a curse. Some existing research shows that internet use makes people more of what they already are: If they are extroverted, they can be more so with tech tools. If they are introverted, tech tools can make them more isolated. And the context of internet use matters a lot: tech lifelines in one set of circumstances can turn into tech choke collars in different circumstances” (J.Anderson & L.Rainie, 2010). This means that it could take longer for the effects of social media to actually psychologically change people. The major change we will see will be within the form of communication.
Social media has changed how relationships with people are formed. It connects people around the world. That means people are able to form relationships without the restrictions of distance. It also helps people feel more comfortable with communicating their true feelings, which leads to a deeper connection. Social media can complicate relationships as well, causing partners to watch every move their loved one makes online leading to anxiety about the relationship and jealousy. Does this mean the demise of relationships? A survey conducted by Pew Research Center states that 85% of people believed social media improved their relationships and social life and will keep improving into the future. This outlook seems pretty positive. As technology and social media advances so could the way we connect with people too.
“Kids are gaining access to cell phones, social media, and general communication platforms at ever-earlier ages, and when this access is used to harm rather than help, the consequences can be dire.” (OntarioColleges.org, 2012) With the rise in technology children are gaining access earlier and earlier as the generations go on. This is causing bullying to not only happen in school but it is happing outside of school and following children home onto their social media accounts. This effect on interpersonal relationships has increased drastically in the last five years and in the next ten years it seems as though it will continue to increase. This most likely being cased by disconnect that children and teenagers feel with each other when using their phones or the computer. It is always easier to say something when you do not have to say it to their face or deal with the reaction they will have. In the following picture it shows many facts about cyber bullying and the effects on teenagers who have cell phones or computers. Also in the article by Ontario Colleges we see the negative impact of technology with “42% of teenagers with tech access report being cyber bullied over the past year.” (OntarioColleges.org, 2012) Pair that with “Nine in ten (93%) teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.” (Mary Madden, 2013) This is just a recipe for our future in technology to include cyber bullying.
Virtual Reality is easily described as a collection of works and sounds that a user experiences from a computer program or application. (Virtual Reality, 2014) This type of technology can be used in many different ways. People have the opportunity to use a vide variety of virtual realities. It could be a fantasy game, where you play as a different character to beat different levels. Or it could be a realistic social situation where you are interacting with others who are online. This type of virtual reality however is affecting our real sense of reality and our interactions with others. Although people begin to play virtual games for fun they have the ability to become addictive. In many games they have the ability to chat with other users, this can both be a good or bad thing. In the heat of the moment and in the middle of the game when you are trying to beat an opponent, it is not going to be very nice, however in other games more for socializing, it can be quite the opposite. People become addicted to these virtual realities since they have the opportunity to socialize with people who have the same interests or are using the application for similar reasons. This could affect persons’ interpersonal relationships with others that are in their real world. With an addiction to a virtual word, comes the need to check and sign in as often as possible in order to stay up to date with the latest things going on. This can majorly decrease the amount of social interactions and relationships one has because of their soul focus on the virtual friendships they have.
Below is a short video to introduce you to the Project Morpheus, this is Sony’s PS4 virtual reality headset. In the video you can see many different emotions that come from the different games that people are using or experiencing. For example, near the ending the one young guy has the headset on and it seems as though he is in the ocean with sharks, this makes him scream and probably feel slightly scared, fully knowing that it is not real.
“An enhanced image or environment as viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlaying computer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment.” (Augmented Reality, 2014) To put that into easier terms, it is an image overlaid onto our real world images. Many different companies have begun to use this technology, all to make their products more ‘futuristic’. One type of argument reality, which has been around but not utilized much, is in your car. There is technology that allows for your car to have a virtual overlay on the windshield. One specific feature of this technology is a GPS system. “With navigation commands overlaid graphically on the road ahead, you might never take a wrong turn again. Think of it as an in-car version of a Google Glass headset.” (Bryant, 2014)
Imagine that, never making a wrong turn again, because the GPS is now on your window, in real time, with real distances displayed.
Now, to think about our interpersonal relationships and skills, how would this affect that? Well we wouldn’t need to get out, ask for directions, because we wouldn’t get lost. This could hinder our relationships then, if we don’t get out and ask people for something as simple as directions, we are losing simple bases of our communication.
3D Holographic and Human Teleportation
Many years ago there was no technology that connected loved ones but rather what they had was so natural, strong and exciting. The way they used to communicate was through writing letters. One person will wait days, weeks or months to receive letters from their loved ones. Those letters had value where people would collect them and hide them because they were secret to one’s relationship.
The interpersonal relationship that couples had before telephones were invented was hard. The hardships that couples faced were dealing with emotions like pain and sorrow from missing a loved one and not getting any news from them. After years of writing letters came the telephone, where individuals were able to talk to each other from across the world. The telephone was limited in a way where it can be used in only one place. Even if it was in one place you still were able to talk to your partner. Then came the cellphones, where you were able to talk anywhere and everywhere.
Technology has captured the new generation in variety of ways, especially the way people communicate. A few years back I was watching global news and there was a report about texting. There was a couple that was married and they changed the way they fought, instead of verbally speaking to each other they fought while texting. I just wonder how technology can change ones relationship.
It took “3,000 researchers to find out what they think is going to be big in the future. This year, everyone’s caught the FaceTime bug, and is looking forward to 3D hologram video calls.” (Hannaford, 2012, para.1) When video calling came out I was excited, because now with one click you could visually see someone that lives on the other side of the world. The 3G video calling helps with interpersonal relationships when individual miss a loved one, they can now see them and talk to them at the same time rather than just hearing their voice. Video calling is not only used for personal relationships, it is also used in the business world. If you were not able to attend a meeting a simple 3G video calling can be your alternative solution. Video calling 3D also influenced the way interviews are done; now some businesses do their interview by video calling rather than having interviews in person.
“3D holographic version of your conference companion – in full color and with sound – into the room with you. Even if you’re conferencing with an individual thousands of miles away, this video chat holograph displays your chat partner as a life-size replica, with an accurate depiction of their image viewable from the front, sides, or back.” (Kukura, 2014, para.2). People now are looking forward to holographic calling which takes video calling to the next level. The way heliographic video calling will affect interpersonal relationships in 2025, is that you would be able to visualize with whom you are talking with which helps some people when putting a name to the face. The communication between individuals will change because now there is a lot of texting and talking through social media but with this new technology it will be as if you are talking with someone one on one even if it’s only their face.
Human teleportation is the next step after 3D holographic calling. We always see this kind of technology on television and as a child I remember my mom watching Star Wars and they would transport one person from one place to another, which was very amazing. Now “we are on the frontier of technology that was imagined in movies 40 years ago. It will be as if loved ones, friends and family are standing right in front of you,” said Marcin Panek, chief executive of Leia Display System” ( N a, 2014, para.8 ). Even though technology is accelerating, very fast gadgets we use now amuse us every time. In order for individuals to use human teleportation, its step-by-step process where we need to get more accustomed to technology we have now. Scientist makes it sound easy making the human teleportation by “…[ making] the image, the caller will sit in front of a specialized camera that has two lenses to create a single blended image” (Na, 2014, para.5 ) .
People now days are in their own world of social media where they are forgetting how to speck to individuals directly. Interpersonal relationships are affected by technology to the point where individuals have difficulties expressing their feelings and thoughts verbally and are fluent in texting. By human teleportation in 2025 people will gain the loss of verbally expressing thoughts and feelings because that individual will be presented right in front of them then hiding behind their gadgets. “3D video conferencing, though, could be the final frontier of video calls – capturing the most subtle elements of human communication, like eye gaze, gestures, and body pose.” (Kukura, 2014, para.5).
Overall, video calling, 3D holographic calling, and human teleportation will have a positive impact to interpersonal relationships in 2025. It will impact individual communication skills because there would be a lot more face-to-face conversations then this generation. It will decrease stress, hardship, and loneliness when one is missing loved ones because they will be able see them as if they are really in front of them.
The primary focus of this report is to discuss the effect of technology on interpersonal relationships in the year 2025. First let’s look at a few dictionary definitions.
Interpersonal: as relating to or involving relations between people; existing or happening between people.
Relationship: The way in which two or more people, groups, countries etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other; are connected
Technology: to invent useful things or to solve problems.
Some say the future of education is MOOCs, Massive Online Open Courses and although not everyone is on board (Usher 2013) there is no doubt that in 2025 the means of providing education to the masses will not be what we have today. Thinking in terms of interpersonal relationships 2 words stand out the most, online & open.
In the Forbes article Digital Life in 2025 Hal Varian, Chief Economist for Google states a future change where there is , “An Internet-enabled revolution in education will spread more opportunities, with less money spent on real estate and teachers.”
Obviously, however if education is moved to online status without brick and mortar options, what effects will that have on students? The report suggests current classrooms will cease to exist. If that’s the case then this applies not only to the classroom, but the dorm room as well. It seems the experts agree that augmented and virtual reality will play a significant role in 2025 learning modalities. While that allows for access to conditions that cannot take place in the offline world like recreating say the Eiffel tower in order to climb it, yet it removes the traditional situations students yearn for like having a suitor carry your books home from school.
There is a reason there are countless movies made based solely on the high school/college experience; the roomies, fraternities, crazy party stories and romances. People often meet their life partner in college/university. Isn’t that where the terms high school and college sweetheart come from? These experiences are key in forming interpersonal relationships that affect social development. From JK to university, after all the teaching is done, isn’t it about the relationships made along the way? How many times has someone said I’ve known this man/woman since kindergarten? He/she is my best friend; followed by a plethora of anecdotes detailing the events that lead to the now unbreakable bond. Schools inadvertently serve as a meeting place.
In addition to the relationships students make with each other there are the relationships between student and teacher. Currently MOOCs are generally offered as a recorded video in an actual learning environment, a classroom or lecture hall. Fast forward to 2025 technology, will there be actual professors or perhaps just a holographic image of a professor. Or a SIRI type interactive learning application that has no physical form. According to some estimates, non-verbal cues account for up to 60% of communication. No amount of bandwidth can make up for this potential loss of information. No doubt this is part of the diabolical attrition rates for Massive Open Online Courses. (Scanlon 2014) Again how will that affect interpersonal development skills? For centuries students have been known to find their path or themselves through relationships with their professors, citing them as the reason they became this or took a chance at that. Can a student be properly prepared for “the real world” with social skills built in a virtual one? I would think not. Isn’t that is the premise of education, to provide knowledge that allows a person to function in society. Interpersonal skills are essential to that functioning.
But wait there is a silver lining.
Professor Karen Hamilton challenged her team to explore the possibilities on online studies through research technologies. The resulting report titled, Education in 2025 supports the theory that online studies through various tools such as VR & AR are ideal for a multitude of interactions including but not limited to the following: (Wikispaces 2011)
- Greeting, playing, signalling group affiliation, conveying opinions or feelings, creating closeness and dealing with conflict
- Creating a strong sense of presence or ‘being there’ with others
- Importing and exporting of shared norms into and out of virtual worlds and exploring alternatives roles
- The possibilities and constraints for small groups of avatars learning together
- Developing trust and a sense of belonging, prerequisites for successful learning in groups
- Evaluating the impact of the nature and mode of communication used.
The common theme, connectivity and yes interpersonal relations.
At the same time MOOCs boast the democratizing of higher education (Charbonneau 2013) exposing millions of students to each other who based solely on their social status or class were previously prevented from attending certain educational institutions. Connections can be made with anyone across the globe. That means instead of marrying the classmate who sat beside you & copied your homework, you can marry the one in London who helped explain stats and probability to you in your online study group.
The idea of MOOCs is feasible as the future of education. The method of delivery is the question. There are so many tools predicted to change the way live and interact with one another by the year 2025. All of these have a place in education and education has a huge place in our social development and interpersonal relationship functions.
The following is a video, which explains the effects that technology has on teenagers, specifically dealing with technology and the interpersonal relationships and social skills that are lacking because of it.
This video does have two opposing points to it, is the new technology being introduced helping or hindering our relationship skills? How is this going to affect us in the future? A recent Pew Research report says, “78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of those own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.” (Mary Madden, 2013) If technology hits us in the future as fast as it has in the last generation, what is next to come for our interpersonal relations with others?
Throughout our poster presentation we have discussed many different aspects of interpersonal relationships and the positive and/or negative aspects that have been a result of technology and where we believe we will be by 2025. Whether it be virtual realities, social networking, holographic technology or MOOCs one thing we can agree to be true is technology is not going anywhere, and it will be effecting our interpersonal relationships in the future with out a doubt.
Melissa Peel, Juelene Stennett, Nicole Rennie, Hanim Kan
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