While technology is definitely something that can improve our lives by allowing us to keep in contact to those who live far way; it is also hurting many of us. When there are so many quick and simple ways to contact someone, less and less people are actually picking up the phone and calling a friend or stopping by a loved one’s house because they are instead choosing to text them or shoot them a private message on Facebook. In a world where everything is revolved around technology, many of us are becoming more isolated than ever before. Why is this? Today we are going to discuss a few reasons technology is making us less social and affecting many people around the globe in negative ways.
Conversations Aren’t as Personal
As much as we don’t want to admit it; having a conversation through text – whether via text message, through a private chat system, or on a Facebook Wall just isn’t the same as physically talking. You miss out on a lot of what is being said because you are not getting the emotional cues from a person that are only possible when you are physically with someone (or at least able to hear their voice). Talking on the phone or via video chat is better, but many people aren’t even doing that; let alone meeting up and hang out in person.
Many conversations are never truly ended because we are constantly texting or messaging without saying “I’ll talk to you later”; sometimes going days without receiving responses. On top of that, many conversations are extremely impersonal and are only related to the game you are currently playing or start and end with, “How are you?” “I’m fine, you?” “Pretty good.”
Technology is becoming extremely fast and the faster it gets, the busier people seem to be. Checking social network updates, emails and other messages become quickly ‘more important’ than true social interaction. Many of us continue to put off real-life social interaction because we have become so obsessed and/or used to taking the easy way out.
Talking to Devices Instead of People
Remember the days when you would stay up late on the phone with your friends and gossip to your heart’s content or work out tough problems together? There is something extremely comforting in hearing the voice of the person you are talking to. Where have those days gone? While text message is great for quick messages when you really do not have the time to call, they should not take the place of phone conversations or face-to-face talks. Staring at a computer screen isn’t going to give you the same satisfaction as getting a physical hug would.
Everything is Out in the Open: Or is It?
With status updates being made on a consistent basis, people no longer need to contact one another and ask how things or going because all they have to do is go to that individuals social network page(s) and find the answers.
Many people are losing their personalities along the way, even. Instead of expressing emotions, people are going to Twitter (for example) and only making updates of 140 characters or less. So, we may think we know what’s going on in our friends’ or family members’ lives but do we really know?
Think about this for a moment: if something truly horrific happened to you, would you post about it online or keep it to yourself? Many people only post happy things on their social networking sites and avoid getting too personal. So, when you take a look at someone’s page and it seems as though their life is going great, think again. As much as we don’t make the effort as often as we should (as a society) to reach out and connect, imagine how excited you would be to have a good friend actually call you or stop by out of the blue. It’s sad that society has come to this, where a phone call or physical meet-up are rare.
Don’t Worry, It’s Fixable
Every feel bogged down by technology? Try taking a stand. Instead of texting a friend, give them a call. Instead of saying ‘Happy Birthday’ on their Facebook Wall, send them a physical birthday card. Just because most people are choosing to reach towards these new forms of technology instead of doing things in what is becoming the ‘old school’ way does not mean you have to. You can get so much more out of life when you become more present. Even something as simple as getting out of the house, turning your phone off and going for a walk is going to make you feel much better. Hiding behind a computer or cell phone screen isn’t healthy in the long run for anyone. Many studies have shown the lack of social interaction is causing mental as well as physical health problems to rise.
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