Sitting in the Jammin Java, it is easy to notice how much technology has taken over our lives. Students can be seen sitting at tables typing their assignments on laptops, scrolling through social media feeds on their phones, and ordering a sandwich from the newer kiosk in the corner. We cannot deny the focus society has for technology, let alone, the advancement of technology. Take for instance the recent Super Bowl LIII. Almost one out of three commercials had a machine or artificial intelligence as the topic of interest.
However, I have come to realization that even though technology allows us to connect to people better, it also isolates us for multiple reasons. First, it makes us more focused on responding to people rather than listening to them. Texting is a common form of communication and usually involves immediate gratification. We text to get a response. Think of the conversations you had in person recently, were you listening to respond or listening to understand? There is a blurred line between the two which we have to take notice of. Especially, as the main technological ways of communication are non-interpersonal.
No wonder young generations are growing up have skyrocketing depression rates; no one is listening to them. I believe this creates a greater sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Technology, and social media, allow us easy access to look at the “could-be’s” or “what-if’s” more closely. Think of the most recent social event you went to. Did you take out your phone to take a picture or record the moment you were living in?
Did you post it on social media to share with your friends and/or followers? Even though we desire to be in the moment, we are also afraid of others not seeing that moment we recorded. It is a circle of social media. Teenagers are growing up in a society where having as many followers as possible is more important than having friends. Does quantity actually equal quality?
So while technology is helping to save lives in the medical field and connecting people from overseas through Skype, it can also create a sense of loneliness in society. Keep note of how many times you feel lonely in the week to come, and really witness how technology either creates or breaks connections within your daily life.