The Instigator
vortex86
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
OsamaTheCityzen
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Technology: Reducing the quality of Human Interaction

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
OsamaTheCityzen
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2016 Category: Technology
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,313 times Debate No: 88146
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

vortex86

Con

As the con, I am taking on the role of arguing the negative ramifications of technology (in use). Specifically in regards to the quality of human interaction.

Note - I agree that technology is a tool and not an agent in which would be responsible for its actions. I'm discussing the usage of said technology only and the effects therein.

For the purposes of this debate, human interaction will be defined as the effect in which we act and react to those around us. Unless an alternative agreed upon definition is presented.
OsamaTheCityzen

Pro

While I agree that technology does distance us sometimes, I think that it increases human interaction a great deal. Many people are introverts, but through technology and social media they gain confidence. As a result they are better off in human interactions. The majority of people use technology to communicate with others, often calling or texting to meet and go places, meeting their dates online, etc. If it wasn't for technology, many human interactions would never occur.
Debate Round No. 1
vortex86

Con

You mention it increase human interaction, but I would argue the quality of the interactions.

While roughly a third of the populous are introverts(1), I can see the allure of alternative forms of communication. This is because of the anonymity, this is because you can be whoever you want to be, you don't have to face the person you're communicating with. I would argue that these very reasons that introverts are drawn to alternative forms of communications is evidence to support the disconnect that technology is causing. Social Networking Sites and things like it are appealing to introverts as "social compensation" (2). Also according to studies these cause a decrease in real life social community participation and academic achievement as well as cause relationship problems (2). This also lends itself to addiction. How often do you check your social media sites?

This means that we are substituting real life interactions with these alternative communication avenues. Have you ever heard of the statement that a tone wasn't able to be derived via text. There is a lot lost in translation that you don't get with face to face interaction and you aren't able to pick up on body language, tone, and things of the sort. The draw of alternative communications for introverts actually further stunts their social abilities as it presents an easier alternative than the uncomfortableness of a social setting.

While technology has expanded the reaches of our communication, I would argue that valuable in person time gets stunted in the process. How often do we find people at concerts taking video/pictures instead of actually seeing the events through their eyes they see it through a lens. How often are people in the same room but aren't speaking because they are texting/facebook messaging. Another real example of the negative impacts of technology are in the form of dangers. As driving is a human interaction with those around us, texting while driving is a prime example of the digital communication world coming to a large crash with the real world (literally). Not to mention predators that have taken advantage of the digital age.

(1) http://www.bbc.com...
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
OsamaTheCityzen

Pro

You have a really good point in referencing the quality of those interactions, but if the quality really was bad, wouldn't people stop using technology? We reach a certain point where texting instead of talking in person loses the question of ethicality (I understand that is not the topic of our debate, and I find myself compelled to agree with you in this matter). Instead of thinking whether it is ethical or not, we might have to look into the idea that people like doing it. It was not uncommon before modern technology that two people would talk and leave the third one not included, though that was considered rude, just like texting instead of talking in person. People still did it, and people still do it. They just have new tools to do it. It seems to me like the concepts stayed the same, but the implementation differed. Weren't there people who got into car accidents because they were looking at the person next to them while driving and talking to them, and didn't technology actually lessen our casualty rates (see graphs and tables in reference 1), since we have GPS systems that warn us where there are accidents and quick ways to hear about storm warnings or road conditions, improved warning systems in cars, and better overall communication to call emergency services when needed?

When talking about introverts, you said that they can hide behind another identity and pretend to be someone else. I agree, that isn't necessarily good, but doesn't it make introverts feel better? Wouldn't you rather be very social under a different name than awkward in every situation? Moreover, does it really matter that they do not interact directly with the people around them often if they interact with them online? I would argue that they are communicating with live human beings, which is an improvement over not communicating at all (although they did have letter-sending, which I would also argue has extremely similar effects as texting).

As for addiction, it has always existed. People were always addicted to checking their mail and getting back to their pen-pals. It may be easier today to access your "modern pen-pals", but it has always been the case. People were always addicted to reading the paper in the mornings, going to bars at night to find a potential date (as opposed to doing it online). I guess my main argument is that the form has changed, but the addiction always existed.

Also, when you said that tone cannot be derived via text, I beg to differ. First of all, there are emojis that enable people to show tone, but back to the basics of it: authors have always showed tone through text without speaking. It's an art, and people now started using things such as CAPITAL LETTERS FOR YELLING or the "..." for hesitation, etc. So I disagree that tone cannot be shown via text.

I would agree with you, though, that technology is often misused. Many people are too obsessed with taking infinite selfies and showing off to their friends, or taking pictures instead of watching the concert, or using technology to cyberbully or to exploit people. As with the other things, my argument is that this was always the case, but in another format. People used to have many portraits laying around, then when that age passed, they used to showcase their wealth to the public by wearing the most unnecessary accessories, using a ton of makeup, and openly bragging to people. Now they do the same thing, but by taking selfies and tweeting about their belongings. As for exploitation, people used to walk into banks and point guns at the tellers and take the money, sometimes killing a few people in the process. Now, bank robberies are rare, and cyber-robberies are more common. It's still a robbery, but less people die in the process. Additionally, People used to always get scammed, regardless of technology being present or not. To sum my whole argument up, people with ill intentions or rude behaviors will continue to do wrong regardless of the means they can do it with. Technology has many great benefits, but it also has many side effects. We have to learn to take the good with the bad. I look forward to your reply!

(1) http://www.iihs.org...
Debate Round No. 2
vortex86

Con

If alcohol or cigarettes were bad for you wouldn't people stop that? No, as I demonstrated in the previous round it causes a dependence and supplements for human interaction and can become addicting.

You mention the possibility of another distraction in the car. Legislation is already passing to ban texting while driving in many states because it is a serious distraction. 33% of drivers reported texting while driving (1). This means their eyes are off the road even if just for a second it could be one second too late. I don't think the risks of this need to be mentioned as I said states are already passing laws prohibiting such activities.

It may make introverts feel better, but that is a false crutch. Doesn't improve their experience in the real world and often times takes the place of real interactions. If someone else is living a facade as well how real is your interaction with them. You don't have the ability to truly know someone unless you can interact with them in real life. You can feel like you do but that is all based on what they say. Intimacy is the most obvious missing element that cannot truly be achieved without the in person physical element. You can do things alternatively but intimacy is an extremely important aspect of a healthy relationship.

Checking the mail that arrives everyday at the same time versus checking your phone every few minutes is hardly the same thing. One makes way to an extreme amount of your time whereas the other is minimal.

You mention authors are capable of displaying tone and it is "an art" as you put it. Not everyone is capable of this gift or art. Emoticons can not tell you if a person is being sarcastic or joking. Emoticons do take the place of tone sometimes as do all capital letters. However, unless you can pick up on non verbal cues like in person you don't know if the person is being genuine. Or you have less tools to discern this.

You seem to concede to the fact that people misuse technology and instead of enjoying their friends or watching a concert they are instead involved in technology. I think that is sufficient to display that the quality of human interactions is negatively affected by technology you say we have to learn to take the good with the bad, and I agree that good does come of technology, but at the cost of what? I would argue the quality of our human interactions.

(1) http://vc.bridgew.edu...
OsamaTheCityzen

Pro

I personally know people who often look to the person next to them while talking and driving, as you most probably do since most drivers do that. I would argue that this has the same effect as texting and driving, because if you take your eyes off the road for a split second to look at that person, you can potentially hit a pedestrian or another car. I'm not justifying texting and driving, but I'm saying that there are always other ways that don't involve technology that have the same impact.

As for the introverts, I beg to differ. Technology exists in the real world, and if you can get to talk to friends online rather than not to talk to anybody at all, to order pizza online instead of feeling socially awkward at a store, and buying some necessities online instead of going to the store then you are using it well. This also brings up another point: technology has been of so much convenience to us. You can get what you need to get, when you need to get it (online shopping). You can ask your professor a question via email so you can study for your test if you cannot reach him in person, and you can view a wide range of ideas that otherwise would not be available to you. Isn't it ironic that you are using technology to debate technology? Without it, you would not be able to access this wide range of opinions in debates, and you would not be able to have a full picture of what is happening. It used to be the case that what you read in the newspaper was the be all end all, but now with technology, you actually give voices to those who are mute. The refugee crisis was only made famous after the drowned child, Alan Kurdi, appeared on social media. Without technology, we probably would have not heard adequately of what was happening there and many people would have suffered because of it.

Also, you can have intimacy in an online relationship. You can tell all your secrets online to your spouse, etc. Yes, sure you can be able to hide many things from them, but isn't that always the case, even before technology? People always cheated on their spouses and hid business dealings from them, and I would argue that having technology made it easier for these people to get exposed (e.g: you can read your spouse's messages and know that she is cheating, instead of having to come home to catch her in the act).

You argued that good does come out of technology, but at the cost of the quality of human interactions. I disagree. Human interactions are still strong, and I believe you are slightly too generalizing when you speak of those who abuse technology. Those who spend their time on social media, fill their camera rolls with selfies, hate interacting with people, and exploit others using technology are a minority. We tend to focus on the bad, but more good has come out of technology than bad. To this day, most people, including introverts, would be willing to spend their time in person with a friend rather than online. That is why despite all of our technological capabilities, people still look forward to going out with their friends on weekends. I believe that technology has given us much more good than bad.
Debate Round No. 3
vortex86

Con

According to Distraction.gov, cell phone is the most alarming of distractions as it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention (1). Those can't be said for your passenger distraction you mentioned. If you notice other distractions listed it also is mostly consisting of technological distractions. You mention alternative distractions as an excuse for this one. I would argue that less distractions the better.

You already conceded the fact that people often times go to texting instead of talking. This is the type of disconnect that comes from technology. You still haven't refuted the findings of the ncbi mentioned in round 2. Your argument seems to be continually that there are other negatives therefore somehow minimizing the impact of technological quality impacts. This in and of itself is a concession to the fact that it has a negative effect. No matter how minimal you haven't proven that it doesn't affect the quality of human interaction.

In your example of asking the professor via an e-mail, the quality of this interaction is dependent on your ability to communicate via e-mail. The professor doesn't get a chance to know and meet you formerly. This is a brief introduction to who you are. E-mails to professors are to be formal/professional. This doesn't give the professor a full picture of who you are.

The convenience you mention of technology doesn't at all pertain to this discussion as I am in agreement with you about that positive. It however isn't an indicator of human interaction quality. At least not in the present argument you presented.

A newspaper can't be read all day, and only certain sections are going to be utilized by individuals. Once again this is not a fair comparison of the technological usage. There are 168 hours in a day. According to a gallop poll Americans sleep on average 47.6 hours a week (2). This means the average technological use of 60 hours takes up roughly 50% of the time awake in the day. You can't compare that to any previous "substitute" that you presented (newspaper, snail-mail) (3).

Intimacy, you described is not the intimacy that I was describing. We are talking about introverts that are substituting real interactions with their online substitute. Sex is an essential part of a healthy relationship (4).You mention infidelity, and I would argue that the prevalence and increase in cyber-affairs is making a new avenue of cheating and thus negatively impacting the quality of human interaction. The more opportunities to cheat the more likely it is to occur. Especially when the availability to do so is now 60 hours a week (using the online usage weekly mentioned above).

You suggested that I am too generalized, I would argue that the statistics that I've laid out don't lie. Not to mention your constant defense of technology has been the introvert (who make up only 1/3 of the populous) the other 2/3 aren't benefiting the way they are according to your argument.

I think I've clearly laid out the argument that technology has negatively impacted the quality of human interaction. Both in it's distracting nature, it's addictive nature, it's marital strain, and simply put the crutch that we have discussed for the introvert.

Thank you for your time and arguments. I enjoyed this discussion.

(1) http://www.distraction.gov...
(2) http://www.gallup.com...
(3) http://www.nielsen.com...
(4) https://bewell.usc.edu...
OsamaTheCityzen

Pro

OsamaTheCityzen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by OsamaTheCityzen 1 year ago
OsamaTheCityzen
Thank you, and you did really well too!
Posted by vortex86 1 year ago
vortex86
Congratulations. Thanks for the debate.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: dsjpk5// Mod action: NOT Removed<

1 point to Con (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con.

[*Reason for non-removal*] Forfeits, under the current voting standards, are sufficient reason to award conduct. The reporter's disagreement with that standard doesn't make this vote insufficient.
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Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: TUF// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com...... I am also voting conduct to pro to counter dsjpk5's vote. For additional reasoning, please see: http://www.debate.org......

[*Reason for removal*] While the arguments vote is sufficient, CVBs are strictly prohibited.
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Posted by OsamaTheCityzen 1 year ago
OsamaTheCityzen
No problem, and you had great arguments as well!
Posted by vortex86 1 year ago
vortex86
Hey, as I said in my closing OsamaTheCityzen thanks for the debate. I took a human computer interaction course that sparked this concept and I wanted to have a discussion on it. Appreciate it
Posted by OsamaTheCityzen 1 year ago
OsamaTheCityzen
Although I'd love to win, I wouldn't want to do so unjustly. I'm happy with the "convincing argument" vote, as it is up to each person to decide that, but as for conduct I kind of would have to agree that my opponent deserves the point. I did not have enough time to counter in the last round and that automatically ff my round. I therefore admit that I do not deserve that point.
Posted by vortex86 1 year ago
vortex86
It's your rationale for your votes " so arguments that didn"t have much to do with social interaction are ignored in this RFD". You created your own topic, you say it is for interpretation of the voter that's not possible when the very definition that is being argued is laid out in the very 1st round. . There was one clearly set in the 1st round and agreed upon by both parties.

I do not mind losing but your rationale is where I take issue. not to mention your negative voting of me is for your crusade and does not follow voting standards. There is a report vote option for a reason. I took the effort to complete the 5 rounds whereas my opponent did not. That is not good conduct on an agreed upon debate.
Posted by vortex86 1 year ago
vortex86
It's your rationale for your votes " so arguments that didn"t have much to do with social interaction are ignored in this RFD". You created your own topic, you say it is for interpretation of the voter that's not possible when the very definition that is being argued is laid out in the very 1st round. . There was one clearly set in the 1st round and agreed upon by both parties.

I do not mind losing but your rationale is where I take issue. not to mention your negative voting of me is for your crusade and does not follow voting standards. There is a report vote option for a reason. I took the effort to complete the 5 rounds whereas my opponent did not. That is not good conduct on an agreed upon debate.
Posted by TUF 1 year ago
TUF
Vortex86, how does that change the vote decision?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 1 year ago
TUF
vortex86OsamaTheCityzenTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15_QMccZG8AdN6LuAARXpG2aE_JbgsDomilo0gpvWPng/edit
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
vortex86OsamaTheCityzenTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round, so conduct to Con.