A new study from Cambridge University has today found that two thirds of children and adults prefer face to face communications to digital communications. Of course this has been widely reported in the press as people being ‘overwhelmed’ by technology but the question really is ‘in what way is this any different to years gone by’?
Millions of years of evolution have ensured that we have developed as a gregarious species and we value the company of others, but there have always been those who have been more comfortable on the fringes of groups and who seek solitude. Modern digital living is the ideal environment for these people as they have no need whatsoever to engage with anyone on a face to face basis but can still give the appearance of being part of a group.
An interesting output of the study by Professor John Clarkson of the Engineering Design Centre at Cambridge University was that almost half of the young people surveyed said that they were already trying to make a concerted effort to cut back on their use of technology, and this is sure to strike a welcome chord with any parent who has a teenager who spends their life with a mobile phone glued to their hand or on Facebook.
So the summary appears to be that technology is not a bad thing ‘per se’ however the speed of technological change has left some people trying to catch up with the rest of the wired world. Hmmm. So no change there then……