Bit by bit, technology has taken over as the main vessel of communication among college students. As such, it has become an integral determinant of the way people communicate with others(Pierce, 2009). Specifically, it has replaced human communication and become the main means of passing information from one student to the other. Additionally, students have been too immersed in the digital world such that they have ignored what happens in the real world. According toTurkle (2012), the overuse of technology has greatly affected human communications skills amongst people and particularly the college students. As a result, any communications between them are very quick and brief without any grammatical and emotional considerations.
Considering the conversations that happen between students, it is evident that no regard is paid to the nature of the talks, leave alone the grammar used. In this regard, most students have resorted to the use of shortened words (acronyms). Additionally, other words have been corrupted and their meanings distorted to a point where one is not able to understand the content of the texts. Besides, the use of mobile phones and computers has replaced the face-to-face communication (Turkle, 2012). As such, students are not able to get to understand how they can communicate, the proper language to use, and the proper sentences that can be applied in the interpersonal communications. Therefore, the human communication skills that they might have obtained in their childhood have not been exercised fully.
The first article that this paper studied was The iphone effect: The quality of in-person social interactions in the presence of mobile device (Misra et al., 2014). The aim of this article was to establish how mobile devices affect face-to-face social interactions among people. To achieve that the study analyzed previous students, filed observations and online survey. The findings were that technology negatively affects both the quality and quantity of face-to-face communication.
The second article; Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (Przybylski, & Weinstein, 2012) in this article, two experiments was conducted to establish how the presence of mobile devices influences face-to-face interactions. The findings were that technology could have negative effects on the closeness, connection, and the quality of interpersonal communication.
In the last article, which is; Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communication versus technological communication among teens (Pierce, 2009), a study was conducted on teens. The purpose was to establish how the teens use socially interactive technologies such as online social sites and mobile phones. Additionally it was intended to establish the role of social anxiety affects how teens communicate with each other face to face. In the findings, most of the students especially females, felt comfortable using technology as opposed to face-to-face communications.
This research paper is intended to conduct an observation, which is aimed at establishing how technology has affected human communicating skills among college students. In so doing, an observation will be made on the students as they move from one destination to the other in campus. Specifically the areas with high human traffic in campus will be observed to check the number of students who are talking face-to-face and those using mobile phone as they moved along the campus paths.
Before this research makes an analysis of the effects of technology on human communication skills among college students, it is important to note how the advent of technology has affected the life of those same college students. According to Przybylski and Weinstein of the University of Essex (2013), the recent advancements in the technological world have enabled many people to communicate better, easily and quickly. However, little if any, has been realized about how that technology affects human communication. Misra et al. (2014) argues that people who communicate face-to-face have high empathetic concerns that those using social media through their computers and mobile devices.
In a different study, Przybylski and Weinstein (2012) observed that the application of technology in human communications greatly affects relationships among college students. Further, they found that technology negatively affects human closeness, connection, and the quality of conversation. In another case, Campbell and Kwak (2011) found that the use of technology greatly affects the way that college students communicate with one another. In this regard, some are likely to communicate with strangers while others are likely to sever ties with those close to them.
Being a college student, my research method would be based on my experience that I have gained in college about how students use technology instead of face-to-face communications. In this regard, I will do some observations in campus and use the experience that I have had so far to establish how the use of mobile phones has affected interpersonal communication among the college students. In this regard, I will use quantitative data that I will obtain from my observations to make the necessary conclusions. In particular, the research method would be a survey that would be conducted by observing how the students are using technology and face-to-face communications.
My observation would be on students when they leave their lecture halls and moving into different direction. Specifically, I will be positioned on the areas, which have more traffic such as the dining areas and lecture halls. Therefore, my participants would be the students who leave their lecture halls and those entering and exiting the dining halls. The number of students that I will target will be 100. From my assessment, I will be focused on those below the age of 40 years, as they are likely to be more technology savvy.
In my observation, the only materials that I will require would be a pen and a piece of paper. These would enable me record my research statistic with ease. Additionally, I will need to sit down since the study will be for some hours.
The procedure for this survey will very simple. In this regard, I will position myself in the conspicuous areas close to the entrance and exit of both the dining hall and the lecture halls. After that, I would observe students as they enter and exit those two places. Then, I will be concerned with the number of students who are either holding or scrolling their mobile phones and those who are talking to each other. At this moment I will record separately the numbers that are either talking via their mobile phones or texting. On a different column, I will record those who are having a face-to-face communication as they walk along the paths.
Data Collection and Analysis
All the data that was used for this research paper was recorded as a percentage of the number of participants. Therefore, the results of the research will be given in percentages related to the 100 participants who took part in the survey. Specifically, the statistics that I obtained were converted into a percentage of the total number of participants.
The field observations that were made in the streets with high traffic leading to the dining and lecture halls yielded the expected results. In this regard, from the more than 100 students observed, 70% of those walking were on their mobile phones while only 20 % were talking to each other face to face. The remaining 10% were just walking without doing either of the two.
College, it is evident that college students use social media as their main means of communication. Additionally, face-to-face communications are very rare almost of the students prefer to use the current technology. This is despite the fact that they tend to be more close to each other. Further, after getting out of classes where they are expected to discuss face-to-face about how the lecture was, students still get back to their phones even as they walk along each other. Only a small percentage of students use face-to-face communication in college.
Campbell, S.W., &Kwak, N. (2011). Mobile communication and civil society: Linking patterns and places of use to engagement with others in public. Human Communication Research, 37, 207-222.
Misra, S., Cheng, L., Genevie, J., & Yuan, M. (2014). The iphone effect: The quality of in-person social interactions in the presence of mobile device. Environment & Behavior, 1-24.
Pierce, T. (2009). Social anxiety and technology: Face-to-face communication versus technological communication among teens. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(6), pp.1367-1372.Przybylski, A.K., & Weinstein, N. (2012). Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-10.
Turkle, S. (2012). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York, NY: Basic Books.
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