Assignment 2

The ability to use new forms of technology has been ever-skyrocketing for the past couple of decades. Scientists and innovators continue to create new findings in tech that further our efficiency. Technology ranging from the early creations of the computer to the smartphone, and recently with the surge of AI usage, has created endless shortcuts for humans in various fields. Especially during the pandemic of the early 2020s, applications such as Zoom, Google Meets, and general tools for direct messages such as WhatsApp have created shortcuts for us to reduce the amount of face-to-face contact necessary for communication. This raises the issue of whether an over-exposure to technology created a disconnect in our ability to understand each other. Two articles will be analyzed and broken down to understand the various arguments behind this issue. The articles are “The Pros And Cons Of Technology And Relationships” created by the online therapy service ‘Regain’, covers a concise list of how there are more pros of technology and its effect on our mental health and relationships. The other piece being covered is the research paper “Is Technology Enhancing or Hindering Interpersonal Communication? A Framework and Preliminary Results to Examine the Relationship Between Technology Use and Nonverbal Decoding Skill” written by the Department of Psychology at the University of Maine which gives a thorough study of how the way users interact with technology affects the way we can decode nonverbal communication. The 2 sources have different appeals being focused on, both sources use credible studies and data to create their arguments, and both sources structure their arguments by displaying both sides.

While both sources use an analytical approach to back up their claims, they differ in the specific appeals they use. The article written by Regain uses a lot of pathos to appeal to emotions, whereas the research paper conducted by the University of Maine almost solely uses an appeal to logos using statistics and data. As Regain is a therapy service, it has the intention to give more guidance rather than a comprehensive study. One focus of the article was how technology promotes the decline of real-life interactions.  Even though the article cites many studies to back up its claims, the article writes “steering clear of uncomfortable interactions in real life may seem harmless, but in most cases, it can be problematic later down the line”. The company has an inclination to offer its analysis coupled with an emphasis on the lasting effects on mental health. This could possibly be with the intention of getting readers to consider taking up their therapy services, as the article is created by a company that offers paid services rather than a study conducted by a university. The research paper conducted by the University of Maine almost solely uses logos in its study compared to the article. The research paper cites multiple quantitative data sets accumulated by the university itself, such as how different races respond to nonverbal signals in humans. The University of Maine has no ulterior motive compared to Regain, who may hold various biases. By solely using data sets and other research conducted by other sources, the appeal to logos is there as they solely want to give their findings on how technology has affected nonverbal communication. The differences in primary appeals can be attributed to the fact that the article has different intentions from the research paper.

One similarity the article and research paper share is that both use various data sets and other research conducted to support their findings and arguments. The article by Regain keeps their findings very short and concise. It shares the findings and states the conclusion of what it means towards mental health by giving the research cited as a hyperlink in the finding being stated. When providing a pro to technology, the article states, “in many instances, technology brings people closer together and strengthens relationships”. The words ‘strengthens relationships’ are able to be clicked on and send the viewer to a study conducted by Doctor Margaret E. Morris on how technology promotes parental and romantic relationships. By keeping its analysis concise, it provides the option to the viewer to seek further deeper studies if they wish to do so. On the other side, the research paper uses a more elongated mathematical approach to its data to give the reader its analysis. For example, when showcasing its data on nonverbal decoding, it states, “individuals who self-reported more passive use scored significantly higher on both objective indices of nonverbal decoding (i.e., the WIPS test: Mr = 0.18, p < 0.001)”. This analysis of its data gives a specific conclusion on how passive use of technology gives a better understanding of nonverbal communication compared to those who use technology more deeply. This gives the reader a complete idea of one of the effects technology has on communication without having to look for more information. While both sources use this same approach, the differences can be attributed to a difference in intended audiences as the article by Regain is likely appealing to an audience who is looking for broader information.

Another similarity found between the two sources is the structure used to display each source’s findings. Both use an approach of pros and cons or both sides of the argument to give an analysis of how technology affects communication and interpersonal relationships. The research paper presents a prompt such as whether technology hinders and enhances communication skills and then provides a study for each side of the argument. This approach gives objective viewing for which the conclusion created by the research holds more weight through indisputable data sets. Similarly, the article gives headers such as “Enabling stronger relationships” and “Avoidance of real-life interactions” to give objective viewing of the pros and cons of technology and its effects. It gives the viewer objective information on how the effect of technology can vary with its effects. The reason for this approach is that both sources would like to give a non-biased analysis of the effects technology has for the viewer to understand.

4 thoughts on “Assignment 2

  1. Hi Sadman,

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    The intro does a good job at setting the stage for the rest of the essay, you have a solid thesis. I would only suggest that the context (first five sentences) be condensed.
    I see what you are saying with the Regain article being more Pathos focused, though I think you could make this point stronger by explaining what the emotion Regain is trying to make the audience feel when they read the article. From what I read, it seems as if they are trying to incite concern.
    Your second paragraph could use some work in terms of wording. I found it confusing to read that they are similar when it comes to using data and research, though you highlight their differences in how concise they present the information. I think both approaches can work well separately, but I’m not sure if they can work together with the wording it has now. I might out right explain the similarities and differences in the topic sentence, or just choose one of the two to focus on.
    The idea for the last paragraph is solid. I think the evidence used for the Regain article could be stronger.
    Best,
    Juan

  2. Hello Sadman,

    Your introduction of the Sources was paired very nicely with the rationale that you had put forward in your later paragraphs.

    One of my only critiques is that the use of the quantitative data source could be a bit confusing for a first time reader. While you did provide a solid explanation, it could be worked a bit in order to allow readers who are not familar with the mathimatical jargon a little bit of clarity

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