ISSUE-156 (2022 new)


Claim: Young people's tendency to make extensive use of portable devices like smartphones and tablets has hurt their development of social skills.

Reason: These devices encourage users to form artificial personalities and relationships online rather than fully and honestly engaging with the people around them.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim and the reason on which that claim is based.

Has the development of virtual technology made people's social skills decline? Some people think that the personalities and relationships in the virtual world are fake, so those young people who use smart devices will have their social skills diminished because of the virtual world. However, I believe that the use of these devices and the virtual world of the Internet do not hurt the social skills of young people.

Certainly, smart devices make it easier for people to form false personalities and relationships. People naturally like to show a good side to people around them. Even if they don't have a good side, if they can achieve it by means of faking it, they will do it. And smart devices happen to use technology to make faking less costly. For example, an ugly woman who wants to look good in the real world needs to spend a lot of money and effort to dress herself or do plastic surgery, but on the Internet, the simple beauty function of a cell phone can do it. In addition, unlike the real world, the Internet has the characteristic of anonymity. The people you come in contact with on the Internet can be the ones who are completely unaware of your past. Thus you can communicate with them with any identity, real or not. Likewise, the people you communicate with on the Internet can use false identities. Therefore, relationships on the Internet are artificial. For example, some Internet influencers grow from mediocrity, but they can easily portray themselves as well-off and hard-working on the Internet. Even if they are later exposed, the biggest cost is mute on the Internet for a period of time. Besides, with so much happening on the Internet every day, people are quick to accept information and quick to forget it, so these identity fakers can start over again after a few days by fabricating a new personality.

It is because of the fake nature of the Internet world that people are concerned that too much use of smart devices by young people will hurt the development of their social skills. This concern is legitimate. Since relationships in the virtual world are fake, there is no need for social skills to build and maintain social relationships. In addition, face-to-face communication in the real world requires a high level of social skills, as people can receive information through gestures, expressions, tone of voice, and other aspects in addition to the words they speak. But in the virtual world, people often communicate by typing, so the social skills required are much lower.

Nevertheless, I do not think that virtual socialization does not destroy social skills. Although the virtual world does not require us to read people from various aspects as we do in the real world, this does not mean that the virtual world requires lower social skills. In fact, the social skills required in the virtual world are different. Most of the communication in the virtual world is done by typing, so the efficiency of information transfer is low. To compensate for the deficiency, the social skills of the virtual world have more requirements. For example, since typing is slow, people need to efficiently convey information with a short text. Also, words cannot convey emotions, so being good at using emoticons and memes also becomes part of the social skills in the virtual world.

In conclusion, although the anonymity of the Internet makes many things in the virtual world artificial, we do not have to worry about the social skills of young people in the virtual world.

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