Technology and Society

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What are three ways technology (internet, cell phones, computers) can play a role in forming or maintaining relationships?

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Technology can do a lot toward forming and maintaining relationships in today's computer world. Computers and the Internet can be used very effectively for forming relationships as people meet online in various venues--the obvious on being online dating services though meeting during telecommuting or teleconferencing is a significant possibility--and feel free to express themselves in a basically unpressured, unnuanced environment (as opposed to a party, a nightclub, or an in-office conference). This is especially true as most computers are now equipped with video cameras that allow for real-time video phoning, e.g., Skype, Google G-Mail, and videoed social networking.

Phones and computer real-time chat systems are excellent for maintaining relationships. While there is much that can be misused in these technologies that can, as a result of misuse, isolate people rather than draw them together, there is a great advantage in being able to send text messages, chat, and speak on the phone at a moments notice. An emotional connection can be fostered and maintained around short messages that are designed to leave a pleasant, warm feeling or to establish meeting times or check in on health, projects or upcoming engagements.

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