“Technology and personal communication: Our devices are changing our
Specific Purpose: I determine to persuade my audience that social networking, texting,
email and app usage is causing some losses in social skills and is affecting our personal
and social relationships
Thesis Statement: Our devices are changing the way we relate and communicate.
Human contact is becoming a renewed art form. Social networking is actually causing
antisocial behaviors (removing us from normal life structure). We need to take charge of
them, not let them be in charge of us.
I. Introduction:
A. Attention getter: I sent my daughter a text reading, “What time are you
leaving?” I wait. No response. (I’m watching the kids and I want to organize my
time leading up to it.) I try Facebook Messenger, “What time are you leaving; I
need time to plan?” Still, no reply. I call her phone and get voice mail. I ask,
“What time are you leaving; I’m trying to plan my next few hours. Why aren’t
you answering!” 15 minutes later and I’m frustrated and have lost organizational
time. Finally, I open the door into the living room where she is sitting on the
couch. I ask, “Didn’t you get any of my messages?” She explains she accidentally
left her phone and tablet in the room next to her napping and knew walking in
would disturb him, but by now, all the alerts from my messages were sure to wake
B. Introduce topic and motivate audience: Our phones, tablets and computers
connect us to the world. We can:
1. Facetime, Skype, Google Plus
2. Visit the streets of Tuscany through Google maps
3. Get a college degree
4. Telecommute to our jobs
5. Tell your phone to call your mom
“With all these wonderful conveniences and tools, we are gaining so much, but
giving up some fundamental skills” as Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together
C. Establish credibility: Technology makes me happy. My first degree was in
computer technology. I love to communicate electronically! I have four different
devices to work from. Waiting for FedEx to deliver them is like waiting for a
good friend I haven’t seen for awhile!
D. Preview main points/thesis statement: I believe we are meant to be this
advanced and that we are to utilize these instruments. BUT, With them comes a
responsibility to make wise decisions. As devices continue to replace tasks, we
need to make sure they don’t replace relationships.
II. Body
A. Need or Problem Step: WE ARE Losing touch with face-to-face interaction!
1. Describe the need:
 To build confidence in face-to-face interchanges
 To be comfortable in the present moments without a device
 To teach children by example – put the tablet down;
and…listen AND teach them the value of conversation
2. Explain the importance of the problem:
 Addicted to the screen; what am I missing
Dr. Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State
University, Have you heard this acronym FOMO? --Fear of
Missing Out
 Counting “likes”; getting false sense of self
 Missing present moments; kids sports, table talk
 It shows disrespect to those around us
3. Describe what could happen if the problem is NOT solved:
 Build a false sense of self – Sherry Turkle on creating a
“Performance” of ourselves
 Become isolated; get lazy in outside social events
 Lose critical time with children; not only building walls, but
teaching them to repeat the behavior (Callie – 3 yrs old,
dumped her playschool camera on my desk and said, “Here,
post these to your Facebook!”)
 Anti-social behavior – you might ask…how is it that wanting
to connect, causes
*Transitional statement between steps
It isn’t irreversible. I’ve experienced how the energy changes when you turn off your
phone and give full attention to a person or activity.
B. Satisfaction/Solution Step
1. Describe your plan in detail:
 Determine if we are addicted to social networking and internet
activities; how hard is it to shut it down?
 Define off-limits times for family and our self; put devices
away at meals, at games, etc.
 Create a balance; prioritize; become aware of the distribution
of time
 Handwrite a card, make a phone call instead of text or play a
board game versus an app with a child.
Create dates, outings or specific family commitments outside
of the technological environment
2. Explain why your plan will work: I believe human nature is to
connect. I also think we are built to regenerate through natural elements. We will
find physical and emotional energy when we balance our time.
*Transitional statement between steps
Examining how we can gain control over our device usage and puts a surplus into our
closest relationships brings personal revenue.
C. Visualization Step:
1. Describe what results your audience can experience if your plan is
 Enhanced personal relationships
 Empowerment over time management
 Much less guilt
2. Describe the benefits that relate to your audience:
 Actually feel more productive
 No need for defending ourselves
3. Describe the consequences that will affect your audience:
 Gain confidence
 Deposit confidence in our children/relationships
 Actually see more productivity
4. State your “Call to Action”: Commit to finding out if your relationships
are suffering due to overuse of devices. Take an inventory of time spent.
*Transitional statement between steps
The Internet has created remarkable advantages for connecting with people across the
globe. It has opened doors for understanding different cultures, bridging gaps and
understanding human nature from other angles.
III. Conclusion (In progress)
A. Signal ending: We are more than an avatar or a Facebook timeline.
B. Restate the importance of the problem:
C. Re-emphasize the “Call to Action” Step:
D. Memorable ending: My own mother would be saying, “Are you listening to
Brey, P. (2000). Theories of technology as extension of human faculties. Research in
Philosophy and Technology, 19, 2-20.
McLuhan, M. (2011). Marshall mcluhan speaks. Retrieved February 6, 2015, from
Nomophobia and the rise of smartphone addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2015,
from https://www.argosy.edu/news-events/nomophobia-and-the-rise-ofsmartphone-addiction-200684
Rosen, L. (2012, May 13). IDisorder - Dr. Larry Rosen - Research Psychologist and
Educator. Retrieved March 2, 2015, from
Turkle, S. (2012). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from
each other (Vol. 1, p. 384). New York: Basic Books.
Turkle, S. (2012, February). Connected, but alone? Retrieved February 6, 2015, from
Across the generations, I see that people can't get enough of each other, if and only if
they can have each other at a distance, in amounts they can control. I call it the
Goldilocks effect: not too close, not too far, just right. But what might feel just right for
that middle-aged executive can be a problem for an adolescent who needs to develop
face-to-face relationships. An 18-year-old boy who uses texting for almost everything
says to me wistfully, "Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I'd like to learn how to
have a conversation."
Texting, email, posting, all of these things let us present the self as we want to be. We get
to edit, and that means we get to delete, and that means we get to retouch, the face, the
voice, the flesh, the body
we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We need to develop a self-aware
relationship with technology and with our selves.
We expect more from technology and less from each other. And I ask myself, "Why have
things come to this?"
As a society, we seem to be losing our social abilities.
Facebook – I’ve known good people who try to quit it! They become very determined to
stop. And they tell us of their plans and principled thinking. In a week or a month they
are back. Certainly not all, but I have known many. I’ve come to feel anxiety when I look
at FB. What am I missing? Who hasn’t IM’d me? Wow! They’re in Europe again! It
challenges me with my identity. Sherry Turkle says, “We are creating a
PERFORMANCE of ourselves.”
Brene’ Brown, having been a social worker for 10 years, says, “connection is why we're
here. It's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” We numb vulnerability – we
can’t selectively numb emotion.
We create a performance of ourselves and we can numb vulnerability. That’s what some
of our technical tools help us do. Create a false sense of self; protect from vulnerability;
lose authentic connection.
No more conversation
too much time spent on these sites can cause teens to develop narcissistic tendencies and
anti-social behavior, according to a study at California State University.
Obsession vs Addiction Dr. Larry Rosen
Obsession When we are obsessed with something we strive to reduce the anxiety
molecules in our brain. Trying to ease anxiety
Addiction - trying to get your brain to release neurotransmitters that we have learned
signal a pleasurable experience. We strive for the pleasure it brings.
discovered that teens who used Facebook most demonstrated traits of narcissism,
mania and other aggressive tendencies.
Like many of us, Dr. Larson and Sherry Turkle appreciate technology, but remain
optimistic that we manage it and it not manage us.
Billy Graham gave a TED Talk in 1998. The topic was On Technology and Faith. One of
his quotes was, “The problem is not technology, it is the person who is using it.” Though
he was speaking of those who take something good and use it for evil. The fact is the
same. We make the rules; we control technology; it does not control us.
A supportive text, a random “Thinking bout you!” these are intimate uses of our devices.

Persuasive Speech Outline