By Shonda Ellsberry
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Ratraj Saran, 19, is in her second year at Camden County College. She says she spends more time using technology because of her full schedule; she noticed the shift when she started working.
At home, Saran says, “My brother and I will text each other and he is in the next room.” At school, she notices students pay more attention to their phones, computers or other forms of handheld technology. When she sees them using it in the classrooms, “It comes across as if they don’t care.”
In a recent study reported in The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, Spring 2015, it was found that technological advancements have had a drastic impact on the way individuals communicate. The findings suggest that technology has a negative effect on both the quality and quantity of face-to-face communication.
Camden County College Assistant Professor Thomas Riddle doesn’t see a decline but rather a positive effect of technology. Riddle says, “Many of the students interact well with each other. The interaction with professors is excellent because many students recognize that in order to pass and excel, they must meet the requirements of the course.”
As to whether technology is an issue in his classroom, he says, “This is not a serious issue for me because on the first day I make clear expectations on how to pass my course. Students are treated as adults and are expected to meet (the) requirements of the course.”
Since we are moving toward a more technological world, it would seem appropriate to embrace technology, but at what cost?
Anna Marie Fagnanni of Philadelphia says she works 72 to 90 hours a week and rarely sees her family and friends. Working for AAA requires her to use the Internet and GPS. Fagnanni jokingly says, “We’re going to need rehab for withdrawals from Facebook and Twitter.”
The reality is we interact more with technology than with each other, but Saran says matter-of-factly, “We have to have face-to-face communication and it is much more effective. There are some things you could never say in a text!”