Forum: Technology has changed social interaction for the worse

People use their mobile phones onboard the MRT on June 28, 2019.
People use their mobile phones onboard the MRT on June 28, 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

Technology has changed us (Put away phones at mealtimes and talk to each other, says Pope Francis, ST Online, Dec 30). We seem inseparable from our devices.

There is always a gnawing need to know what is trending, how many likes we have garnered and what messages we have received. Consequently, we neglect those around us.

We see this often at the dining table. Each to his own device with little interaction. It is like we congregate in groups only to reach out to people outside the group. How have we come to this?

Are we still social animals? Sure, only the form of interaction has changed. We all have a need to be needed. Social media serves this purpose. Acronyms and emojis paint vivid pictures of our sentiments. The recipients understand them instantly.

Do we still need to spell and construct complete sentences? We have little time or patience for that.

Pictures speak loudly and social media rides on that. Every moment is an Instagram moment, so it seems.

But how do we discuss issues when brevity and speed rule the day? Well, we don't. We cannot trust if the content or sources are true or fake. Few would bother to verify them. But we trust those from our in-group who text and think alike.

Perhaps, one consolation is that we will leave behind tomes of data for future generations to examine, if they still understand our acronyms and emojis. Lee Teck Chuan