INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH – FOR BOARDArea of study: Digital worldKey Question: How have advancements in technology affected human relationships?Submitter: Mukund KaveriranganCentre Name: Global Indian International School ‘It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.’1RationaleWith the rapid advancements in technology, it shocks me to notice the great drift between families caused by such miniature devices controlling our social life. With numerous advantages that technology has bestowed upon us, it frightens me to see the world we are living in today, with families eating dinners , gaping down at their phones. Thus, I have taken up this topic to provide a brief analysis of the current situation in our daily lives and provide detailed opinions on this intriguing yet horrifying social rift. This addiction to technology is eating into human relationships , as todays youth are constantly staring down at the alluding screens of their devices.Introduction’Using technology in communication has become a necessity; it’s now part of our lives. People communicate through emails, faxes, mobile phones, texting services, video conferences, video chat rooms and social media channels. As time goes on, more emerging technologies will change the way we communicate and it will be up to us to embrace them or not’6 Technology has played a key role In the modern Age and is a key feature in the progress of the world. Technology has enhanced the way we communicate with our families, through social media websites such as Instagram. It has enabled worldwide communication through emails and has helped in the formation of various alliances between people, be it friendship or marriage. However, technology has torn apart personal connections and the need to talk in person, as dinners don’t gather the family, albeit a time to connect with ‘fake’ friends on the internet. Technology has advanced man and has proven highly beneficial, but the influential role it plays on relationships can prove advantageous as well as poisonous. This project covers both sides of the tail as well as providing future scenarios on this horrifying issue.Technology pros in relationshipsTechnology signifies the strength of an economy and has deeply benefitted world trade and bilateral relations between countries. Similarly it has played a major role in bringing people from different walks of life and different parts of the world in touch with each other. There are some basic and distinct advantages of technology in our day to day life . Some examples are :Keeping in touch with loved ones and friends Education : Online classes for children in remote areas, exchange of material between students in different parts of the world • Leisure activities : It brings people with common interests together as they play games and pursue other hobbies online . • Coordination of busy schedules: No more is a child left waiting at school or a parent at the airport. Text, phone or e-mail lets someone know plans have changed.• Safety: In today’s insecure world, you want to know where your family is and that they have a way to reach in trouble.According to Dr. Gene Beresin, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, texting has opened doors between parents and teens. He said texting gives teens “optimal distance” from parents, allowing for communication that wouldn’t happen otherwise.Another easy way to keep yourself on point in relationships is to use reminders on your phone. This will ensure you don’t forget important dates.7So, yes, technology may have been dismissed as a negative force to relationships, but it is clear that it can also become the cornerstone in the building and strengthening of these relationships. Use it moderately, cautiously, and with consideration and watch your relationships thrive.Incorporating technology into family life As seen above, progress in the digital world has given us numerous benefits . Unfortunately, humans were not able to handle the rapid pace of this development in a mature way.This is specially true in developed countries like Singapore where the latest gadgets are available as soon as they are released in the market . Parents and other older members of families have a major role to play in this regard. They must advise the younger members about the pros and cons of digital usage . They must ensure the minimal usage on cellphones and the internet during family gatherings such as dinners. They must allow a specified number of hours for gadgets, so that the youth engage in other meaningful activities too. During my research , I found that adults have also incorporated technology into their lives at an alarming pace .So they must also exercise caution so that their family relationships are not affected by this.We must not let the glamour of the gadgets eat into our family time Whether we like it or not, technology is an integral part of our lives . According to 2011 Nielsen statistics, teenagers send and receive around 3,700 texts a month – that’s about 125 a day!Before your head stops spinning, assume that some of those 3,700 texts are to family members. We now live in a time where family members text each from different rooms in the same house !However, there’s no doubt technology within family life has its conflicts. And the conflicts have only increased as the Internet and social media have joined distractions such as TV, the cell phone and the computer. Read on for five major negative effects and how you can manage these challenges. First up, hitting the books! 8 Future ScenariosThere are numerous threats to future relationships due to technology, but with careful use technology can prove beneficial to countless families. Here are some possible future scenarios that can arise from this issue-• With technological advancements, will people still get married?Right now, about 40-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association. 4 As man progresses and the increasing addiction towards technology, the drifting of man seemingly tears relationships. There is a deep concern on martial relationships and whether they can sustain as the world develops.• Social media can tamper with genesEpigenetics, as we all know can be affected drastically by our internet experiences, as proven by various digital scholars from around the world. The ability to immerse ourselves in someone else’s life through social Medias questions the human mind and over the years, our genes can modify to such enhanced lifestyles. This questions family relationships as humans may turn out ineffective in reproduction as our bodies are genetically modified by the influences that technology has brought forth.• Technology can propel relationships in the futureThe internet has provided humans with countless platforms to share experiences and to cement relationships through websites such as Tinder. As technology widens family bonds, it can lay the pathway to forming family relationships. As stated by an average man Ben, technology proved essential to building his family as he found his lifelong love through OkCupid. Technology can contribute positively in influencing family relationships.• Technology can help preserve memories in the futureThe use of smartphones enables families to chat online and communicate, enhancing the bonds between parents and children. Technology also helps store memories of the dead through saved voice calls, chats, etc. ‘Some parents who lose a child keep their cell phones active in order to see how their child interacted with the world, and to hear their voice messages, because you forget people’s voices,” she said. This is called a linking object – something that physically connects you to another person.’5 This future scenario can hence prove beneficial to alliances.Global Perspective’The increasing ways we are using technology in isolation from one another is reflected by the latest figures from Britain’s communications regulator, Ofcom. A recent study found that for the first time children aged between 12 and 15 are spending as much time online as they are watching television, about 17 hours a week for each. Many of these children are now not even bothering to sit in the lounge room with the family when they are online, with 20 per cent of five-year-olds now more likely to be alone in their bedroom when online.’ 2 The magnetic effect of technology to sway the youth to social media sites can prove poisonous to the bonds with their families. The world has been increasingly tensed about the rapid development of technology, as numerous writers state their distaste. Parents’ requirements of open communication are blocked by the constant use of social media, messaging and calling through various Medias like Snapchat, Instagram and Whatsapp.’It’s not only the children who are responsible for the growing divide between parents and their offspring. Parents can be equally guilty of contributing to the distance that appears to be increasing in families’ 3 Source- Oxford Economics USAHere is a book regarding the issue which helped me analyze the problem –https://books.google.com.sg/books/about/The_Digital_Invasion.html?id=1N6JD_K9k2cC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false 10Causes of the Issue There are a great many stimulations in rising this issue to a global scale, but here are few of the key issues-• The root cause of tearing apart connections between people stems from scientific research. It is very evident, as in today’s progressing world, multinational companies such as Apple continuously try to push the boundaries to astound people, creating gadgets that lure the youth; which is the sole factor behind addiction and drifting away from others.• The intense competition between businesses to innovate and materialize better gadgets to attract people has caused a sense of loneliness between loved ones. Mobile companies always look to improve their gadgets every year in response to competitor devices, which forces people to buy them in order to stay in the trend, which paves way to increased addiction in accordance to new features and the tearing apart from their close ones.• Also, the varied opinion on technology in education and work planning seems to be a prime element in affecting affiliations. For example, teenagers use laptops as an excuse to finish their projects, which misleads parents in believing they are studying. The mistrust between families and employees and managers can break apart relations as an impactful cause to this issue is from the justification of devices in aiding education and work planning.Effects of the issue As the research suggests, relationships can be affected drastically due to the technological progress. There come extreme dangers in terms of typing, when LOL symbolizes no real emotions and doesn’t convey expressive feelings one would do if met in person when technology didn’t accelerate at such an alarming pace. It also blocks out negative emotions demonstrating a fake sense of happiness among all of us. Also, isolation through pornography and texting rather than meeting in person can pave way to extreme depressions and even homicides and suicides, which highlights one issue out of a many effect of this global issue brought upon us by innovators. So the real question is, is technology helping us progress or leading to negative elements varying from isolation to even suicidal thoughts? National PerspectiveChildren using electronic gadgets like smartphones at a younger age are increasingly exposed to certain social and health risks that come with it. Parents, however, do not fully understand the negative effects of using such devices. Many also do not teach their children how to use them properly. – A study article by the Straits Times on Singaporean children. A nation’s economy is heavily categorized by the improvements in technology as showcased by Singapore’s developed economy. The decrease in birth rates indicates families’ desires to live solely indicating the technological influences on family relationships. The recent study by Microsoft highlights Singapore’s desire to connect socially through technology rather than verbal communication with their families. Hence Singapore as massively benefitted from technology as we are; the lack in physical relationships in the society proves technology fated as an affliction. -Issue of technology in Singapore Personal Perspective and ConclusionTechnology has proven beneficial to the world, as we descry countless advancements in various spheres of life, be it education or healthcare systems. However, with every advantage there is enslaved to be cons to every technological aspect in today’s world. Parents and their children are both gagged by the attractive nature of technology, with the deception not perceived by their eyes. Relationships are lacking in communication in today’s world, and it’s up to the families to minimize their devices to maintain stable and eternal social interaction with their loved ones. This issue can prove deadly if not looked upon and I firmly believe in the need to maintain bonds within your families to sustain everlasting advancements in the world we live in today. The Internet is an amazing tool. But even as it’s shrunk the world and brought us closer together, it’s threatened to push us further apart. Like any useful tool, to make technology serve us well requires the exercise of good judgment. For whatever reason, the restraints that stop most of us from blurting out things in public we know we shouldn’t seem far weaker when our mode of communication is typing. 9Bibliographies1.”Albert Einstein Quotes.” Brainy Quote, Xplore, 12ADAD, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins161262.html?src=t_technology.Patil, P. Butte. “Technological Advancements and Its Impact on Humanity.” Academia.edu – Share Research. N.P., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.2. “Technology Harming Family Life? Blame the Parents.” The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 2013, www.smh.com.au/comment/technology-harming-family-life-blame-the-parents-20130709-2pndz.html.3. Taylor, Jim. “Is Technology Creating a Family Divide?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 13 Mar. 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201303/is-technology-creating-family-divide.4. Shontell, Alyson. “In The Future, Everything We Think We Know About Relationships Could Drastically Change.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 11 Nov. 2014, www.businessinsider.com/how-technology-could-impact-sex-relationships-and-love-2014-11/?IR=T=SG.5. Leader, Jessica. “This Is How Technology Is Affecting Your Relationship.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Oct. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/technology-changing-relationships_n_5884042.html.6. Stevenson. “Use of Technology in Communication.” Use of Technology, 2 May 2017, www.useoftechnology.com/technology-communication/.7. Coleman, Steve. “Simple Ways Technology Can Benefit Your Relationships.” Meet Mindful Online Dating Evolved, Minful, 26 Oct. 2015, www.meetmindful.com/technology-can-benefit-your-relationships/#.8. Korzemba, Mike. “5 Ways Technology Has Negatively Affected Families.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks.Inc, Mar. 2012, electronics.howstuffworks.com/family-tech/tech-effects-on-family/5-ways-technology-has-negatively-affected-families.htm.9. Lickerman, Alex. “The Effect Of Technology On Relationships.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 8 June 2010, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201006/the-effect-technology-relationships.10.”The Digital Invasion.” Google Books, books.google.com.sg/books/about/The_Digital_Invasion.html?id=1N6JD_K9k2cC=frontcover=kp_read_button=y#v=onepage=false.