Technology’s effect on mental health and friendships

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Jose Cardenas talked with Dr. Pauline Cheong, a Professor and Director of Engagement and Innovation at Arizona State University‘s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Dr. Cheong talked about how technology has become a communication staple for human interaction during the pandemic. Technology is in people’s everyday lives and culture. It is being used to extend our sense of space and shift the use of time, forming new social connections in communities on local, regional, and global scales.

We talk about what the pandemic has taught us about technology and human interaction. Dr. Cheong said has taught us that technology is no used and integrated into our daily lives. She even brings up the example that they are using Zoom to interview. Dr. Cheong looks at mental health, friendships, and Covid. She talks about the research that she has done. She says they’ve looked at how they are integrating technology into their everyday lives. Dr. Cheong looks at mental health, friendships, and Covid. She talks about the research that she has done. She says they’ve looked at how they are integrating technology into their everyday lives. Dr. Cheong said they have interviewed people on the state and national level about how they have connected using technology in their everyday lives. What they are saying is that people’s connections to technology are increasing. An example would be using technology for work as a professional or using more technology as a student to learn.

Outside the work area, it has impacted friendships and social relations. It also has implications for intimate social ties. We reach out to people online and over zoom. Dr. Cheong believes that it is both good and bad. It is good because we are continuing to connect and learn how to connect in different ways. On the other hand, we are relying on machine communication and people are yearning for face-to-face communication.  Others are also yearning for touch and being able to be around others in person. We also talk about the differences in the use of technology-based on age. The uptick in technology is not uniform. There is a difference across different ages.

Pauline Cheong, Ph.D./Professor and Director of Engagement and Innovation, ASU Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

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