The nature of human relations is evolutionary. It changes over time as our society adjusts to our ever-changing environment. These changes can be positive or negative, and sometimes necessary changes have both positive and negative consequences on our lives. It seems that the overall nature of current human relations can best be determined by examining human interaction in a few key areas. Interaction in the workplace, the school, and the home, as well as interaction among strangers, can be analyzed to provide an accurate description. There are many factors that can have an effect on our interaction in each of these settings. The workplace is an environment in which there is generally a high degree of personal interaction. Recent technological advances have made it much easier for people to communicate with one another. The emergence of the Internet in the 1990's has forever changed the way that people will interact with one another. E-mail has become a way to connect with co-workers anywhere in the world. No longer is one confined to only communicating with people in their department or office. The increasing popularity of cellular phones had also changed human relations. One can now be reached virtually anytime, anywhere. Although technology has made human relations easier in the workplace, it has also decreased the amount of face-to-face interaction. Technology has also created the virtual workplace, where people can work from the confines of their own home. This has drastically reduced the amount of personal interaction between workers. The cultural diversity of the typical workplace has increased greatly over the last decade. This increase in diversity has come from a couple of sources. First, many companies were forced to diversify to comply with equal opportunity laws. Second, companies began to discover that people from different ethnic backgrounds were helpful in working with a wide spectrum of customers. Regardless of the reasons, this increasing diversity in the workforce has caused a change in human interaction. People are now being exposed to others with many different cultural backgrounds, beliefs and customs. This has forced people to expand their horizons and learn the proper ways to relate to people from other cultures. Many times language barriers exist, and it can be difficult to establish effective communication. The threat of violence has been an increased concern for many companies. Workers today feel as though they are just one part of a machine, and could easily be replaced. This has degraded the quality of personal interaction in the workplace. It seems that this trend toward violent behavior is crossing the generation gaps and invading our schools as well. Advancing technology and growing diversity are having an impact on the environment of schools across the nation. These aspects of change are having many positive influences on the quality of education available to our students. Advances in computers and the internet make limitless amounts of information accessible to students. Cultural diversity in schools helps children to learn at a young age that there are many things that can be learned from other people's cultures. These changes are very important to society as a whole because they indicate that future generations will be more accepting of differences and better able to accommodate others. These social skills that children learn at school have a strong impact on how they will relate to others throughout their lives. Nearly everyday people face situations in which they interact with strangers. These interactions are very common, since one naturally meets new people while going about one's daily routine. The nature of human relations between strangers is complex and dependent upon certain situations. Most of the time these interactions are polite or at 32 the least non-committal. Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend in recent times towards distrust and outright violence in a growing percentage of these daily social interactions. Communication with strangers involves relatively greater degrees of uncertainty thus people may feel higher levels of anxiety. This may explain the growing number of people who are choosing to interact with strangers via Internet chat rooms. In this situation there is no face-to-face contact, so people do not have to worry about how they are perceived if they were to make a mistake. Anxiety is reduced, making this interaction between strangers easier.