Increased internet usage undermines real communication

By Zedbou   September 27, 2022 | 07:31 pm PT
Increased internet usage undermines real communication
A man uses the Internet on his phone at a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga
A total 22% of Vietnamese use the internet for more than nine hours a day, a surge from 9% in 2020. It's sad news for human interaction, a reader commented.

As much as it's "progress" it also goes a long way to undermining the fundamental ability to engage with people effectively.

As an older guy, who grew up without it, I observe how it's destroying vocal communication for messaging. This is too detached a method for me to like.

Offering emojis as a replacement for real expression through conversation is an understandable gimmick for children, but I cringe at the adult population resorting it, let alone having to become a full blown typist!

As for online shopping, it has its place but I'm more a champion of the high street or our towns and cities will be as they were during Covid, ghost towns with no businesses operating. Also online business has the ability to take your money before supplying your purchases. Yes cash on delivery is a high percentage here, but how long will that last? Already some companies do not allow a refusal at the point of delivery, if you deem the goods unsatisfactory. Some do allow a refusal and return upon delivery but charge you the delivery.

Laziness to go out and move one's body comes at a price and not just a financial one. You are not outside, seeing the city, getting a bit of exercise, refreshing your mind. You are not seeing other people's faces and maybe interacting with fellow humans, even holding a door open for someone. You are not meeting people.

Many times as I met a potential partner while out and about, it has to beat online love hunting; I can instantly see if I want to go chat someone up and find out more about them. An insular life is not good. "No man is an island" even. Only my opinion of course, but here is precious little social interaction nowadays and it's reflecting in lack of simple courtesies.

Phone scrolling replacing chat in restaurants, people with no attention span. I will not allow phones out in my classroom or while conducting a business meeting. For me, it signals that the phone is as important, or more important than the time we are spending, or concentrating together; that should be uninterrupted where possible.

Business is affected too, people who are not listening because of phone distraction, are not effective. Even U.K. politicians have been caught out gaming and sending lewd pictures, whilst apparently running the country.

The youth here could do with reading "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." On a refreshing note, I have one student here in Vietnam, whose family switch off their social media etc at weekends and talk to each other; they are offline apart from actual phone calls or family emergencies.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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