Before, human relationships, traditional, consisted in the ability of individuals to confer with them on subjects of more or less serious, in everyday life and in all circumstances : – to exchange on the terms and conditions of work with colleagues in the office, on the weather with a neighbor or on the last episode of his favorite series, with a family member, etc
In France, as elsewhere, in a social environment that is particularly tense, and the technologies that accompany our daily lives contribute to the link between the people ?
The Web : a revolutionary tool ?
No, the Web has nothing “discovered” per se. At least, not to build links between humans. What the Internet is upset, it is the range of these relations : yesterday we were talking with their relatives, families or friends close to home. Today, one can enter into contact and interact with the world in a matter of seconds. What has changed, so this is the medium, the medium, the tool through which the connection between these people will make : it’s happening now around an app or a social network.
We have indeed become “addicted” to the new technology…
Difficult to contradict, but it is equally difficult to accept : we have become techno-dependent. Who remembers the last time he joined an unknown destination without a GPS ? Can we still go without her phone ? A study has shown that current generations have more difficulties to switch from Facebook and Twitter than to be deprived of eating, smoking or making love (4). There are even clinics that specialize in the care of people with a addiction to technology, and there are more articles that mention the new methods of “disconnecting”.
…and it is without regret
apart from these few exceptions, the conclusion is simple : the technology assistance, makes the service supports the human actions and allows the relations. No, the technology does not create exchanges, it transforms them. Up here, to take her children’s clothes become too small, we had to wait for the garage sale the annual city, town or village. Today ? You can place an ad on sites resale in a few clicks. Easy, practical, useful. This does not prevent the flea markets to continue to flourish in parallel.
there is now an app for everything. There are social networks not to go jogging alone, of the online communities to go hunting for Pokémon in a group, you can choose the “coworkers” and his place of work, even for a few hours… What customers are looking for now are other people who share the same centres of interest around events like them. And this has become accessible to all.
The examples of social relations became possible thanks to the new technologies are too many to count. Do you remember the first “Apéros Facebook” : hundreds, sometimes thousands of internet users without other things in common as geographic proximity and the belonging to a same social network. A new phenomenon, its scale, made possible thanks to social networks and new technologies. Nevertheless, there is nothing revolutionary in its principle : most were simply young people come to chat over a drink and meet elsewhere than between the lines of codes of a social network.
social relations transformed
They have evolved with the technological tools and new uses that have arisen. Generation Y was born with a keyboard in the hands, the generation Z may not separate from his smartphone. In addition to the explosion of geographic borders, new technologies have created a culture of immediacy : we don’t want to wait for a response to a text message or an email : we want to know in the minute. Why ? Because you can find everything, everywhere, all the time, in (almost) all circumstances.
Another trend that emerged with the new technologies : the ability to exercise and share his passions throughout the world with the help of dedicated sites. Take for example, a young woman who is on a business trip to Dallas, having been riding and who just wishes to participate in an event dedicated, on-site, the time of the evening.
The research and registration is simple via these sites. It is even possible to manage its participation to an event corresponding to it directly from an application. Simple and effective when it is located thousands of miles away and that you do not know anyone on the spot.
We may also quote the ability to ask for help, support or advice in a few clicks. The forums exist for years on the Internet, the social networks have replaced : pages deals and discounts, pages dedicated to job search, those to sell clothes for children… All this has been made possible through the Internet and mobile media (smartphones, computers, tablets, etc).
We often hear that there would be fewer mass rallies, would this be the fault of the social networks and new technologies in general ? The concerts were always full, movie theatres, beats attendance records and there has never been so many festivals. The same goes for sports stadiums. It even happens that an event lambda has exceptional enthusiasm on the social networks, and vice versa. Everything is going faster.
of course, some will regret that when concerts or other mass events there are more phones raised that arm in the air to enjoy the moment. But that’s part of the evolution of these social relationships : people feel the need to share everything, to capture the present moment : it is the “Generation Now”.
But these virtual relationships do not come at the expense of involvement in the real world, a user can, of course, pay a visit to his neighbors or participate in local activities, in the same way that the “not connected”. The time where the new technologies were seen as a threat that could potentially drive a user in a “spiral of isolation” is gone, it is time to see them as a way of opening up to the world and to find more quickly the activities IRL (5).
(1) Gartner Study (2015) : http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3165317
(2) Study Arcep (2016) : http://www.arcep.fr/index.php?id=13166
(3) Study Ericsson (2016) : http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2015/ericsson-mobility-report-august-2015-interim.pdf
(4) Study the University of Chicago (2012) : https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/feb/03/twitter-resist-cigarettes-alcohol-study
(5) IRL : in real life – in real life
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