As Shakespeare rightly says, Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. Technology — A boon or a bane has been a hot topic for several years now. No doubt that technology has been a survival point for many in this global pandemic situation. Online education and running online businesses have become a norm nowadays. Video conferencing companies like Zoom have seen a boom in revenue amidst the COVID-19 situation. But social technology has also been a major stimulus in mental health problems like anxiety, irritability, stigma, and depression. It is no secret that physical health is being pushed in the background as technology rises.
Does social technology make us feel antisocial?
The answer to this question is YES. Social technology is connecting the entire globe and isolating us from the people sitting next to us. It’s affecting everything from our fundamental social relationships to the way that we behave, learn, work and experience. Social media had to be a bonus to forge deep connections in our real relationships, not a catalyst for losing them.
Social media and connections?
The basic and most obvious reason for the existence of social media is to help us stay connected and share information, but it seems to have lost its basic definition and has become a journal for photographs and videos, a news feed with a massive amount of posts, and the most incredible sales and branding arena.
Social media surely helps us in connecting with people who live far-away from us, but it also has downsides. People compare their real life with other people’s reel life. Society seeks more validation and changes its true self into someone the social media will like and support.
We upload fancy quotes to make us look like a book-fanatic, We upload pictures of sunsets and backyards to fake as a nature lover. We upload pictures of food to be #foodie. Face-to-face connections have never been so complicated. The presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert the millennials from direct conversations, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections.
Social media and isolation?
Online lives are seemingly becoming more interesting than the reality outside. The youth seems to attend socializing events only to upload pictures of it on apps with social settings. Friends hanging out together to endlessly scroll on news-feeds. Families talk only during dinner times ( mostly forced conversations), romantic getaways are now just long lengthy captions about love. Though connected at the reach of our fingertips, we are extremely isolated from reality. Read more about the statistics of social media usage and isolation in the U.S.
Social media makes us develop negative feelings such as envy, jealousy, anxiety, and worry while watching other people’s lives and fearing missing out on the good part. Just refreshing a button will help us see what the other person is doing at the exact same moment. Are we really busy seeing what other people are doing in their lives, keeping our own lives at stake?
Teenagers have several social media accounts and those who don’t have one feel left – out. Unhealthy attachment to social platforms can lead to negative feelings, which aren’t good for any of us. Kids these days feel the peer pressure way higher than usual. Comparison is the thief of joy and it is so damn right. Comparison is so normal since social media. But isn’t social media about inspiration, rather than comparison?
So, What is the solution to avoid or reduce becoming Unsocial in a social media-dominated world?
- Understand more about the fear of missing out and eliminate it. We do not have control over our own account’s feed. The complex and almost random algorithm shows us content.
- Notifications. They were created to distract and earn your attention, The entire social media world runs on the economy of our attention. Don’t let notifications get to you, or turn them off.
- Time limits work every single time. Prepare yourself for a challenge to use social media for only the set amount of time in a day and slowly reduce the usage.
- Reality is much more beautiful, Give it a chance. Authentic and real connections are prized possessions over a number of followers and friends on social media. Go get yourself walking, attending events, making efforts to speak face to face.
So, Is social technology isolating us? YES, but the answer isn’t that simple. When computerization became prevalent in offices, banks, and other organizations, there was the uproar that jobs would be lost; however, it is now an indispensable part of our lives, with improved accuracy, speed, and apps. Read an article about how technology has changed education in the past few years. Though the cons are pretty high, so are the pros. In fact, there was a time where social technology existed in our world. However, now we exist in the world of technology. It seems pointless to blame technology altogether. We are the ones accountable for our actions. Responsible and intentional usage is the key to all our problems. Let’s start being intentional on everything technology-related and the shift will automatically happen.