ELLIE MULLAN, aged 17, writes: SMS; tweeting; poking; Facebooking; Whatsapp; email; Skype… the list is endless.

In a world where we’ve never been so well connected, in truth, we have never been more detached.

As a generation, we are losing the human touch amidst technology.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m tired of writing LOL – I’d much rather laugh out loud with a real person.

Nowadays, the only sense of community we have are online ones.

We see our friends’ photo albums on Facebook, so we feel we’re up to date on their lives.

Whether it is the latest party pictures from the weekend or their last holiday snaps.

However, these pictures, statuses and tweets only show us an edited glimpse.

We spend hours constructing the perfect Facebook message or text, rather than deal with natural outbursts and interactions.

I have countless friends who return from dates disappointed because there wasn’t a conversational spark.

“But we were so well-matched over text,” they moan.

Yes, because it’s not real! It’s premeditated, calculated and, very possibly he had a friend help write the text for him.

It’s the same with girls – the hours spent analysing how many kisses he put at the end, or whether putting an exclamation mark will make you sound too eager, all seems far too much effort and would be a lot easier if you just had a chat in real life!

Due to technology, we are losing the art of conversation.

If you need a few minutes, hours or days to think of a clever response, then is that really you?

The amount of friends people have on Facebook is also outrageous.

So you have 1500 ‘friends’ – but how many of these people do you see on a regular basis, or would be happy to ring up and have a chat with?

Most likely, it’s not many of them. It seems strange that many are happy to share their personal photos and statuses with all these people, but would feel uncomfortable seeing them in real life.

Social networking certainly has its benefits in these busy times and Facebook is a godsend for remembering people’s birthdays.

But we need to strike a balance. We can’t get lost in this cyber world.

So, instead of sending a tweet to one of your friends, arrange to meet up with them instead – trust me, the conversation will be far more interesting!