Sample English Essay on Online Connecting Versus Real Conversation

Argumentative Essay: Do you feel that the prevalence of online connecting that occurs through social networking sites, texting, IM, and email impedes real conversation?

Introduction

It is no doubt that online connections that occur through social networking sites, texting, IM, and email enable individuals to organize and manage their real-world relationships, and gives them the opportunity to meet new people outside the realm of the digital world. The benefits of online connecting can be great and life-enhancing; however, its prevalence is impeding real conversations because individuals have sacrificed the conversations for connections.

Online Connecting Versus Real Conversation

Being human beings, the only real means of making links with others is through true communication (Forbes n.p.). Studies have shown that only seven percent of the communications individuals engage in are based on either written or verbal words, while an enormous ninety-three percent is based on nonverbal body language. It is evident that only by looking at other people’s faces or hearing a tone of voice from them will individuals be able to ascertain whether the others are the way they are or mean what they say. For instance, a person may express online that, “I’m fine,” or follow conversations with emoticons showing big smiles and hearts, but this does not mean that they are fine at all or they are happy at that particular time.

It is important to note that lacking real contacts and communicating directly with other people limits the individuals’ chances of opportunities to self-reflect (Axelrod et al. n.p.). Humans use communication with others as they also learn to converse with themselves, which implies that the flight from the conversation is the same as diminishing opportunities for learning skills of self-reflection. For instance, the social media is continuously asking individuals what is on their minds, but it is true to say that the individuals have very little or no motivation to sincerely type something that is self-reflective.

Emotions are usually central in driving behavior and in all relationships because they give us feedback towards a heightened awareness of the individuals and the social world (Axelrod et al. n.p.). The emotional connections from direct and real conversations promote thinking, reflections and understanding of what is going on within and between the individuals. It is evident that some emotions expressed through chatting will have different effects or sometimes have no effect on the participants compared to the emotions that occur when people are engaging in real conversations (Axelrod et al. n.p.). Social media; for instance, enables us to communicate with other people but has replaced face-to-face communication, which openly impedes real conversations.

Children usually develop in the context of relationships and for them to develop optimally in their personal, social and academic lives, adults need to connect with them in person and emotionally. With online connections that are addictive, adults have ignored the children spending almost all their time online. Furthermore, it is not unusual to observe people occupied on their smartphones even in social gatherings.

People are increasingly spending time online than they are spending it offline; for instance, Facebook users on average spend 10.5 billion minutes daily surfing the site, according to the company’s IPO filing. This figure of minutes can be collectively translated to mean twenty years per day that people all over the world are spending living their lives online instead of offline, and this figure is exclusive of mobile usage.

A survey by the social site Badoo indicated that thirty-nine percent of Americans are spending more of their time socializing online through chatting and updating their statuses, than they spend in person. Another survey indicated that approximately twenty percent of people prefer online interactions or the use of mobile text messages to real contact communication, whilst  a third of individuals are more inclined to approach someone new through an online connection that to do it offline or in face to face communication.

In the workplaces, young individuals are continually showing up with earphones on their heads or just walking in with their eyes focused on their mobile devices. Similarly, in the college setting, people are together, but each of them is in their own bubble, touching their keyboards and staring on their devices (Forbes n.p.). During the silence of that connection, individuals are in contact with different and many people at the same time, but these individuals are carefully held away at a safe distance. As humans, individuals cannot get enough of one another if they are using online connections to keep themselves at distances that they can otherwise control.

Face-to-face conversations usually unfold slowly and this teaches humans the virtue of patience with self and with the other person (Axelrod et al., n.p.). When individuals use online connections, they are forced to learn new habits; for instance, individuals are highly likely to be conditioned to expect faster answers given the rising volume and the speed of online connections. Given that individuals may not get faster answers, they resort to asking simpler questions or dumbing down their communication.

Some of the reasons why online connecting is vigorously taking over the social lives are because individuals are getting used to being shortchanged on conversations and that individuals are overly concerned about their affairs that they hardly spare time to listen to other people (Forbes n.p.). Individuals are, therefore continually finding online connections through social sites to be more appealing because they provide automatic listeners. This is the reason why scientists are working hard to create sociable robots, which are designed to be companions to human beings at all levels, ranging from children to the elderly.

Another reason for the preference for online connecting to real conversations is that online connections are good at breaking down personal barriers of space and time, and enable individuals to interact 24/7 with a greater number of people than ever before (Forbes n.p.). Before, jumping into conversations with people was rather difficult but with their posts, images and statuses online, it makes beginning communication with them much easier. For instance, an individual can post something on Facebook that they probably would have never invited a magnitude of people over their phone to share. Similarly, talking about a subject like breastfeeding would be difficult but after seeing someone’s pictures online, it would be easier to talk about that.

Conclusion

Texting and e-mailing, IMing and social networking allows individuals to present themselves as they want to be or appear to be because they can edit, delete or retouch the conversations or images they want to send. Individuals tend to think that the communication in sips through online connection add up and fill up the gulp of real conversations. It is true that these forms of online connection have a place in the lives of humans, like in politics, commerce, romance, and friendship and so on, but no matter how valuable they may be, they cannot substitute real conversation.

Works Cited

Axelrod, Rise B, Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner. Reading Critically, Writing Well: A Reader and Guide. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.

Tardanico, Susan. “Is social media sabotaging real communication.” Forbes. http://www. forbes. com/sites/susantardanico/2012/04/30/is-social-media-sabotaging-real-communication/Published April 30 (2012