By 2020, it is 20.8 billion items, which should be connected in the world (1). In 2015, France already had 72.1 million phone subscriptions in France (2) – $ 7 billion in the world, (3) – and almost as many phones in service. We can not count the number of tablets also, and the emergence of smart cars. These figures are enough to give the dizzy. These objects, which have the role to transform – or at least improving – our daily lives, they have taken the ascendant over our social life ? What is the human relationship in all this ? In France, as elsewhere, in a social climate is particularly tense, these technologies that accompany our daily lives, do they foster the link between people ?
Until recently, the human relations traditional, consisted in the capacity of human beings to maintain between them on subjects of more or less serious, in the daily, 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 their favourite series with a friend, etc ..
The Web : a revolution ?
No, the Web has nothing “invented”, strictly speaking. At least not to create relationships between humans. What the Internet is upset, it is the range of these relations : yesterday we were talking with loved ones, family 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.
Yes, we have become “addicted” to 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 smartphone ? 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 this is the best thing that has happened to you. apart from these few exceptions, the conclusion is clear : the technology makes the service, using the human, supports its actions, and helps 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’s a now – really – 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 interests around events like them. And this has become accessible to all.
examples of social relations became possible thanks to the new technologies are too many to count. 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 young people who had come to exchange over a drink and meet elsewhere than between the lines of codes of a social network.
social relationships, yes, but relations have been 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 opportunity to practice and share his passions throughout the world through sites dedicated to it. 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 search and the registration is easy through 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 premises.
We can also mention the possibility 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).
the” Generation now “
We sometimes hear that there would be fewer mass rallies, owing to new technologies and social networks ? 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 over the phone surveys 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 completely render a visit to his neighbors or participate in activities at the local level, 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