Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

By Admin. Last updated 10/9/2018 1:26:05 AM. 0 comments

The use of technology has far-reaching impacts on people's daily lives. It could be argued that modern technology makes the world more connected. People enjoy greater access to information, increased interactions through social networking, and it has become almost impossible to do anything without technology. However, rather than bringing people closer together, it seems that the reliance on technology is increasingly causing people to be disengaged from public interactions hence more solitude. Technology is causing people to change the way they perceive themselves and their relationships.

It is interesting that the very thing that brings people closer might be cutting them from real-life interactions. Most of the communication based on technology is mostly impersonal. The new social media may seem to have an exciting ability to promote social connection, but the most important social information of the sender and the recipient is left out when communicating digitally (Luppicini, 2013).  Smartphones and other mobile gadgets have particularly been blamed for the apparent disengagement of people from social life. Because smartphones have integrated many features such as internet connectivity and multimedia capabilities, many people check their phones several times a day and spend many hours using the gadgets. It is not surprising to be surrounded by people in a room who, instead of having real conversations, are busy with their phones(Luppicini, 2013). The situation is perhaps worse for shy people who do not enjoy face-to-face communication as technology keeps them away from the real world.

In the present times, being connected depends on the access to communication technologies. Because of ready access to these technologies, it seems that being in solitude is a necessity of being connected because people communicate more efficiently when they can focus on their gadgets without interruptions (Turkle, 2017).  Often, the new digital platforms offer people a false sense of companionship devoid of the demands of real social friendships. Consequently, people seem to have become accustomed to connecting with others at a distance and to their preferred extents. This scenario explains why it is easier for teenagers to text than it is to communicate face-to-face. The case for adults is similar as they tend to prefer computer keyboards to human interaction. According to Turkle (2017), the aspect of being able to communicate and disengage at will means that it is easy to hide and be in isolation.

However, while there is an apparent shrinkage of social circles, the case may be different for older adults and people who experience depression and loneliness.  As individuals grow older, they may lose social contact with friends and acquaintances because of relocation or engagement in different activities. It could be argued that technology opens avenues for interaction hence decreasing loneliness and isolation, especially in adults because they can stay in touch with other people. Nevertheless, technology may not enable older people to meet new people or boost the quality of their social communication(Cotton et al., 2012).

In conclusion, the impact of technology on social life is significant. It is more efficient to communicate and establish social connections through digital technologies. However, there is no doubt that technology affects how people think. Most virtual interactions entail shallow communication. The cost of over-reliance on technologies is that people are becoming more alone, and seem to be developing an inability to connect with others in social interactions on an emotional level.

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