People Are Becoming Addicted to Technology and Less Connected From Obtaining True Relationships

People have become addicted to advancements in technology. They simply forget proper manners and how to communicate effectively. People check their emails during meetings, shop on their smartphones in the middle of class, and text at funerals. These are a few of the examples, which showcase technology leading society places that don’t need to be explored. Technology is abundant and easily accessible which unfortunately causes a hindrance in people’s personal values and social skills. Too much of anything thing is bad, this perfectly corresponds with the constant overuse of technology. Technology causes people to be less connected from obtaining true relationships with others and themselves.

Due to the constant advancement of technology, more people spend more time maintaining superficial connections online that aren’t dedicating enough time or effort to cultivating deeper real-life relationships. Portable devices enable people to communicate without having to meet face-to-face. This lack of contact affects the amount of real-life relationships that can be established. People only pay attention to things that highly interest them or what they want to see.

Everyone has different interests and when combined with technology, there is a steady disconnect from friends, family and co-workers as people tend to avoid conversations that don’t interest them. This creates a problem because individuals will expect more from technology and less from each other. In the long run, this will led to a major disconnect in the amount of real-life friendships. Technology offers a negative effect to society’s social efficiency. Meaningful relationships are built and maintained by face to face contact; technology doesn’t allow long lasting relationships to take place.

Social Media increases connection not communication. “There has been a shift in the way we communicate; rather than face-to-face interaction, we’re tending to prefer mediated communication,” he says. “We’d rather e-mail than meet; we’d rather text than talk on the phone.” According to Booth, studies have shown that people actually are becoming more social and more interactive with others, but the style of that communication has changed so that we’re not meeting face-to-face as often as we used to.

With the current advancement in technology at an all-time high, solitude is at an all-time low. Nowadays, people forget that time to themselves is significant as well. Solitude is the state or situation of being alone. People have forgotten to take time out for themselves. They are constantly connected to others in the world. Individuals need to shut off their technological devices to relax and enjoy the world in which they dwell. People are beginning to talk less and text more.

The abundance of technology makes a skewed self-image and laziness more common. “We tell ourselves lies about ourselves and develop something we are not. We post pictures of us looking perfect and share the good news. We never post pictures of ourselves when our dog dies, when someone we love leaves, and when we lose a job. We never share the bad news that always clouds our lives. We all develop this perfect image of ourselves and some of us actually try to rely on this imaginative thought we have of ourselves instead of staying true to who we are.”

Loneliness is an increasing problem in modern life. Technology makes people become more isolated. It significantly impacts our social interaction. One might think that social network brings people together. For example, finding long lost friends on Facebook or Twitter. However, technology is also ruining our face to face communication. In “Alone Together”, Sherry Turkle determines how social network and texting culture has changed communication between an individual and his or her family and friends. “People today are more connected to one anther than ever before in human history, thanks to Internet-based social networking sites and text messaging. But they’re also more lonely and distant from one another in their unplugged lives” (Turkle).

The picture of people holding their phone and texting is not hard to find in public. You can easily see a group of friends go to a restaurant and all of them spend more time playing with their phones then having conversation with their friends. Briefly, technology seems to connect people together but it actually disconnects people. Americans spend so much of their time consumed in social media. They simply isolate themselves

It turns out, social isolation doesn’t just make us sad — it can make us sick. According to a meta- analysis of studies focusing on the elderly and loneliness, seniors without adequate interaction are more likely to die prematurely. Loneliness impairs immune function, according to the University of Chicago. In terms of effect on mortality, the risk of being alone is comparable to that of smoking, and twice as dangerous as obesity.

People lose their true selves when constantly on social media. We are social animals and need to feel that we “belong” to others and feel connected to one another. This causes people to follow instead of lead. Actually, technology has a magnifying effect on our social isolation, often making us feel more alone, or lonelier than before. Long before Facebook was even a gleam in Zuckerberg’s eye, in 1998, a seminal study conducted by Carnegie Mellon researchers showed that growing Internet use coinciding with an increase in loneliness. Meanwhile, in the ’90s, academics noted an apparent “Internet paradox,” according to The Atlantic a contradiction between the growing opportunity to connect with others and an equally increasing lack of social contact.

However, some people disagree that technology allows people to be more connected. There has been a great deal of speculation about the impact of social networking site use on people’s social lives, and much of it has centered on the possibility that these sites are hurting users’ relationships and pushing them away from participating in the world,” Hampton said in a recent press release. He surveyed 2,255 American adults this past fall and published his results in a study last month. “We’ve found the exact opposite that people who use sites like Facebook actually have more close relationships and are more likely to be involved in civic and political activities.”

Although social networking sites such as Facebook, and Twitter attempt to keep us together, people have become overly reliant on such programs to the point where they replace a lot of their face-to-face friendships with these online ones.

The first thing someone can do in order to eliminate this reliance of technology and connectedness is to allow yourself some solitude. Give oneself some time alone every now and then. Turn off the phone, disconnect from the internet and enjoy solitude. It does not have to be anything big; it could be just sketching in your room, or going for a walk. However, it is important to note this is just a suggestion as being alone is not for everyone as some people find it unsettling. So when it comes to finding time alone, only do it if it is something relaxing and enjoyable. An approach to rid loneliness may be approached in a similar manner to solitude. The first step to conquering loneliness is to spend more time offline than online. Rather than establishing friendships through social networking, take the time to meet friends, or new people face-to-face.

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