Technology Makes Us More Alone
Imagine it is present day and it has been an extremely long day, you are scheduled to go on a dinner date with a new love interest you met on a dating website. When you arrive at the date, both you and your love interest greet each other while the waitress guides both of you to a secluded table for two. Once you arrive at your seat, both of you sit down facing each other. The waitress says, “Can I start you guys off with some drinks?” After telling the waitress what you want to drink, she scurries to the kitchen. You look at your partner, he/ she looks back at you, you both blush, small talk begins, small talk ends, the awkward void of silence creeps into the air, a sudden urge to reach down into your pocket for your phone arises.
What will you choose to do? Spark up a new interesting conversation? Succumb to the urge and grab your phone in an attempt to relieve the awkwardness? Today most people would choose the latter. With technology being at an all time high, it has become completely normal to be so into our phones that we can completely block out the world around us. Technology has become so advanced that it almost takes the place of human connection. Before the 2000s, children and teens would have time allocated to playing outside. Playing outside was beneficial to getting one’s daily amount of physical activity in, it was a great way to interact with friends and family on a face to face basis, and it also created better Little 2 opportunity for making new friends.
Today children would rather sit on a couch and play video games for hours on end, drown in social media, or watch tv all day. On average a teen between the ages of 13 and 18, spends nearly nine hours a day on their phone (Gonchar). Before social media parents spent more time interacting with their kids but today there are children everywhere who are as young as two years old or younger with a tablet in their hand. Children like sitting on their phones or tablets more than talking to their parents.
Social media is not the only form of technology that negatively affects human interaction. We see drastic changes when we go shopping. For example, grocery stores have made more self checkout lines so that customers can check their own items out. You are probably thinking, well that is easier because it is faster, which is true but it is also just another thing on the list that separates us from interacting with new people or just people in general. Today social life is being drained and technology has become a man’s best friend. Not communicating face to face makes it extremely hard being comfortable around new people. A traditional date would be going up to your person of interest and verbally, face to face asking them to go on a date.
Today, with the abusal of phones, it is a simple as, “wyd?” or “let’s link up.” Women might as well throw away the idea of a man coming up to their porch with a heap of roses to walk her to the car and if a woman does have that type of connection or has experienced it, she must cherish it because men like that today, are very hard to find. With the absence of human connection we are alone. In most people, being alone causes depression and anxiety. Katheryn Holston from The Courier Journal, stated that, “When we are stripped of our phones or laptops we feel a loss or disconnection, in turn making us alone,” (Holston). Being born into and growing up with tablets, computers, tv, videos games, etc. Little 3 creates a larger risk of having anxiety and depression because not knowing how to live without it puts a strain on our lives socially. Studies show that in 2012 there was an increase in anxiety and depression amongst teens when smartphones began becoming popular (Garcia-Navarro). One would argue that with technology being as advanced today as it has ever been, has made it easier for people to communicate.
Technology brings people together, it fills the void of absence, and connects us to what is going on in the world. Technology makes it easier for us to stay in touch with friends and family, it makes it easier to meet new people. Although all of these aspects are true and technology is extremely beneficial, we have to ask ourselves, is a facetime call better than actually going to see someone? Is meeting a complete stranger online and talking to them for years through the web without actually meeting them face to face healthy? Is comparing yourself to a person on social media whose life seems to be perfect based on what they post healthy? Technology does make people feel more alone though it should not be completely ridden of because of its negative aspects, it is a great asset in this fast paced world we live in. We must simply open our eyes and realize that human connection can not be replaced and we should choose our mental well being over technology.