I believe that communication should be valued and not taken for granted.

Jaclyn - Canfield, Ohio
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that communication should be valued and not taken for granted. I truly miss the old days when I would receive a well-written, personal letter in the mail or an occasional phone call from a far-away relative. I miss the way of life that existed back when people were not solely dependant on their beloved cell phones.

When telephones were first introduced to society, people were grateful to have a more convenient way of communicating with one another. Nowadays, our society cannot even picture our lives without the technology we’ve grown so fond of. When we have instant communication available at our fingertips, things such as cell phones, text messaging, email, instant messaging, and online blogs, I’ll admit it is hard to not get caught up in all of it. Unfortunately, I believe that so many people have grown too accustomed to this availability that it has contributed to many of the social problems and lack of face-to-face interaction in society. Today, many people would prefer to have a conversation with someone through some sort of technological device, rather than to speak with them face-to-face. This way, they can avoid mistakes, embarrassment, and possible rejection.

I recall a certain family visit to Dayton, Ohio, during Thanksgiving break this past year. In these few days, I cannot remember having one meaningful conversation with any of my five cousins of which I hadn’t seen in approximately two years. However, I did witness them sending off at least two text messages per minute. I remember thinking to myself, “is this what our world is coming to? Can we no longer talk to our very own family members without checking a mobile device every other second?” It was definitely a wake-up call on my behalf. To be honest, I was both shocked and disappointed for these were the cousins with whom I grew up and shared every single Thanksgiving holiday. I used to look forward to those visits so that I would be able to spend some quality time with my family, but now I feel as though they could have been summed up in one phone call, or even an email.

Indeed, the current behavioral patterns with technology seem as though they will be the downfall of our nation. My mother is always telling me that those who are addicted to their cell phones and computers now will have zero people skills by the time they are searching for a career. This will have a major impact on the rest of their lives, not to mention our future industries and large corporations are bound to falter due to a lack of communication. When my mom tells me things like this, it seems to be silly and unlikely at the time, but the more I consider it, the more likely it seems. If kids are the future and technology consumes today’s kids, what is our future society going to be like? Ever since we have become so hooked on technology, we have slowly started to loose the sincerity of good eye contact, the attentiveness of good-listening, and the element of focus.

If we continue moving in the direction we are heading, our relationships with one another are going to become less and less meaningful because of the emphasis we put on our devices. I can only hope that soon our society will stop encouraging a technological take-over, so that we can return to communicating in a more traditional, dignified, and meaningful way.