How does technology affect the way we communicate emotionally?
It seems that almost daily new technology is created and put out on the market along with new ways in which we can communicate with one another. Do you email more than you talk on the phone? Maybe you text more than Facebook?
Before personally researching this technology and how it affects the way in which we experience and express emotions, I had really never put any thought into the downside of the different technologies. The only way I know how to express my emotions while using text-based communication technology, is by inserting some sort of smiley face or exclamation points. Without using technology as a means of communication, but rather face to face exchanges or actual conversations over the phone, you get a much better idea of the other person's expressions. To actually see someone's facial expression or the tone of someone's voice or their body language as they share something, is so much more satisfying.
Social networking web sites like Facebook and MySpace, give us the opportunity
to stay in more frequent contract with friends and family or to re-establish contact with old ones. This being another way technology plays a role in our experience and expression of emotion.
Even going beyond family and friends, when we go through emotionally tough times, the internet opens new doors to discuss those feelings and experiences with people who have also experienced them. Examples of these are: online chats, support groups for all sorts of emotional experiences like losing a loved one, dealing with a big job loss or serious accident. These are just brief examples of what's out there to help a person in rough times. These communication conveniences let people express their emotions and their situations to others who can relate and perhaps help them through these life experiences and offer advice for the next.
I know I experience emotions about technology itself, for instance E-folio. As I sit here and write I can not get logged into E-folio to post my paper. So I plan on calling customer service when I finish. According to Floyd on page 453, "research confirms that many people experience intense and genuine emotions when they are interacting with technology. Sometimes, these emotions even affect our relationships with others. You may be able to think of times when you've felt closer to someone while watching television or playing a video game together, for instance."