You are living in an era of modernization and information technology. The world has advanced to such an extent that it has taken the form of a global village. A person residing in one corner of the world can communicate with someone in another corner! Yet, with all such advancements, have you ever wondered, “does technology make us more alone?”
Technology makes us more alone. we observe this in everyday life. Oftentimes, crowds of people gather together, and each member stares into their phone while ignoring the others surrounding them. Before the widespread adoption of phones, people would talk to their neighbors, but not anymore.
Everything in life has its pros and cons. When you are consuming technology in moderation, it will serve you. However, if you go beyond and start relying on technology for everything, then it can be hard to live without technology. Try spending some time alone, and you may feel the urge to check social media. But the question here is whether technology is making us alone!
According to Statista, there are 313 million internet users in the United States while the number of social network users is 295.48 million. The mobile internet users are 276.7 million. You can closely observe such mobile phone users around you!
Read on for more information.
Reasons why technology makes us more alone?
According to experts, loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We are living in a society, where loneliness is like an epidemic.
People prefer to spend time on social media and spend time with someone who is miles away while the person sitting next to them is ignored. It’s hard to stay focused in the real world when a lot is going on in the virtual world. People want to stay connected to the online world and there is a constant fear of missing out. So, when they turn off the devices they feel alone as they are used to the idea of scrolling through the smartphone all day.
In fact, if you observe closely, you can easily spot that when people are sitting at the dining table, they hardly communicate with each other. It’s more like they are connected to their smart devices rather than the real person sitting close to them.
According to Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind and 85% have smartphones. With such a large number, it’s hard to deny the fact that smartphones are almost everywhere and kind of taking over our lives. We are living in the age of information technology rather than the real world! Or at least in our minds, we are constantly in a different world that makes us disconnected from the actual world.
Some people start comparing their lives when they look at the picture-perfect life of other people on social media. This unhealthy comparison also gives out negative feelings.
There are numerous reasons that can make a person feel alone by the use of modern technology, but it also depends on the individual as well. How you use technology is upon you! You can use it for your good or use it to make yourself feel worse and alone.
Does our technology connect us more or isolate us more?
You might be wondering whether technology connects us more or isolates us more. Just like there are two sides to a coin, there are also two ways to look into this matter!
Consider the fact that you are residing in a different country after marriage and your parents are back home. You miss your old life and you desperately want to talk to your friends and siblings. If that’s the case then you will look at technology as a blessing. It is giving you a chance to connect to your old life. You can talk to your parents and family anytime you want. It’s a great way to keep pace with the fast-changing world.
However, on the flip side if you are a person who is constantly online, but ignoring the parents living under the same roof or avoiding talking to your spouse and children then you’re not using technology wisely! You are not connected to the real world and those around you are feeling isolated too. A point may come when they may stop caring for you because of your behavior and you’ll feel isolated when there is no smartphone around or internet connection to keep your entertained.
Because of the modern means of technology, there is a lot of entertainment available at the fingertips. Technology is not giving you the chance to get bored and when you do, you have no idea how to deal with the boredom.
It is also important to understand what loneliness exactly means. It’s a feeling or you can say a state of mind where you feel alone and crave for human connection. Now through the use of technology, you do get that connection when you talk to your family, but with strangers, you never know who is at the other end. It’s important that you spend more time in the real world with real people so that you don’t feel alone.
What you do with the technology is your personal choice, but there has to be a regulation of some sort. If you are using technology for your own good then it’s better! Technology is no doubt making this world a better place. It’s making your life easy and it’s there to bring comfort to your life, but don’t abuse it as you can decide what to do with it!
Some people even do jobs online. For example, some individuals will start teaching online. In fact, if you look closely, people are gradually switching to online work.
Does technology lead to loneliness and separation?
You can find numerous researches and studies highlighting the impact of technology on our lives. For example, the research studies mentioned here can give you a gist of how technology can impact our lives today. For example, according to a 2020 study, 31% of the respondents had reported depressive symptoms at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It appears that the lockdown and the recent events surrounding the world have made people dependent on the use of technology. A lot of people switched to technology for work and study. It resulted in an increase in the screen time of these individuals.
According to the survey finding of a study, 45% consider technology a problem in marriage. The survey was based on participants (parents) between the age of 21 and 60. The study takes into account how technology interferes in two important spaces, i.e, bed and at the table. 88% of the participants from this study considered technoference a big problem. 55% of the participants were of the view that their parents/spouse spends too much time on the cell phone.
When you see such a high percentage, you can instantly know the prevailing problem in society. People are spending more time on their cell phones. It’s now high time for the parents and spouse to take effective measures and spend quality time with the family.
When people start depending on technology for happiness or positive reinforcement, it can affect their actual life. You have to be a part of the real world although you are connected virtually.
Many people turn to online gaming and virtual events to combat the feeling of loneliness. On the other hand, some individuals may find it better to use technology that is far away from their loved ones. For example, grandparents who want to see their grandchildren, but are not able to do so because of the long distance.
You may also wonder what you can do to combat the feelings of loneliness. Before a relationship leads to isolation or separation, it’s wise to play your part. If you’re the one spending more time on technology and find it hard to stay away from smart devices and the internet, try to cut down your time. Ask for help if you find it impossible! Solve the issue before it becomes a habit or addiction that’s hard to leave.
You are living in the age of information technology but disconnected from the real world. You can observe people being busy on their smartphones. People have conversations online, but they ignore the person sitting right next to them. Taking the most of technology depends on the individual. It’s a choice, but some people opt for the negativity and unhealthy comparisons. Sitting in your room, you could be connected to the world out there, but those under your roof will be waiting for your genuine connection.
Use technology wisely so that you don’t feel alone or end up being alone! You can change the way you see the world and technology can be put to good use. It’s upon you what you make the most out of it. Save yourself and your loved ones from the harmful impact of technology. Start campaigns or run workshops to make people realize the negative impact of the modern means of technology. Anything in moderation is fine, but when it starts taking over your life it can be hard on you and also for others around you.