A dear friend of mine gave me this topic to write about. It really is a great one because of where our technology is and where it’s going.
The easy access everyone has to the internet is unbelievable. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for mankind, but it’s also a detriment to our physical interactions.
We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, blogs, games and more at our fingertips at any given moment. That has only been the case for the last 5-10 years.
It is scary to know that if something reaches the internet, it can never be erased. If you make one bad decision and post one thing you regret, it can never be undone.
There are predators online who seek out their victims through these social media sites, and no one feels as though they could be at risk.
Beyond the terrifying unknown of who is really out there, it hinders our relationships with the people closest to us.
Why is it so addicting? Why can’t we peel our eyes away and enjoy the company sitting there with us? Why do all of our “friends” have to know every detail about our lives?
I am not a phycologist, and I’m not an expert in media. I can tell you my opinions, and only my opinions.
I think that humans are always seeking ovation, attention, and glory. We want to stand out. We want to be recognized. We want people to like us. We want, we want, we want…
We are also nosey. We feel as though if we have a portal into someone else’s business, we want to snoop to see what drama is happening in their life. Especially if we can do so undetected. It’s much easier to grab your phone and look at someone’s posts/statuses for the past week or so to see what they are doing with their life rather than just call them and ask them.
Because we are not interested for the sake of just random curiosity. We are driven by jealousy, anger, empathetic sadness, and mutual happiness.
Let’s say you see an update on someone’s page saying that someone you knew had passed away. We instantly feel a wave of sadness, but instead of calling the friend to talk, what do we do next? We snoop… We look at everyone’s page that we know would know that person to see if anyone divulged the details of what happened.
Let’s say we see an update of an old classmate doing well in their career, or having a baby, or reaching some other accomplishment. Most of the time we are happy for them, but what if we aren’t that successful in our own lives? What if we want a family but are having trouble? We might be jealous of this person, so what do we inevitably do? We snoop… We hate that they are doing so much better in life than we are, and we have to further fuel our self-pity by watching others do better.
Let’s say we just ended a hostile relationship and we absolutely loathe the thought of our ex being happy whatsoever… So what do we do? We snoop… We go to their page (if they haven’t blocked us) to see who and what they are infecting with their poison of douchery. We have to know that they can’t possibly be happy without us.
If you haven’t seen the theme here, we snoop… It is so easily attainable at any moment.
Social media is great as far as keeping in touch with people you may otherwise not, or keep up on current events, or let people know what’s going on in your life that they might want to know. Unfortunately, the addiction to our devices is only hindering the relationships we have with those we are closest to.
I am guilty of this myself, as I find myself binge scrolling through my newsfeed. Realizing my son has been sitting in his playroom, alone for 30 minutes. I feel guilty that I am not present when I have the opportunity a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to have. Even if he is content and not desiring my attention, I feel bad that I’ve wasted potential time with him by staring into my phone.
I’ve become more aware when I am out with my man (which is rare), how much we are just in each other’s presence, rather than enjoying each other’s company. He plays his games, I scroll through my newsfeed, and we don’t have deep, meaningful conversations anymore.
I notice how people actually get mad at one another if a friend of theirs didn’t “like” a post they had.
It’s disheartening because connections to our friends and family are priceless and we take them for granted. I don’t think this issue will ever be solved. The technology is out there, and it is just going to become more intrusive and more intricate.
As a millennial, I grew up with none of this. Cell phones were the norm once I hit my high school years. After that, the technology flourished and now children in elementary school have cell phone. I understand that the advancement of this technology is necessary and completely incredible, but younger kids aren’t outside playing with each other as much. They are worried about their looks at such an early age. I think it’s important to stay updated and familiar with modern technology, but people have lost site of what’s important in life. We are animals by nature, but we are special. We are not just another species only living to procreate and survive. I mean, technically, I guess we are. But we have relationships. We have connections with other people and care deeply for them.
I’m caught between wanting my son to grow up not having the luxury of always having some sort of device, and not wanting to deter his learning by holding these things back from him. It’s going to be hard to make decisions that will undoubtedly make him feel left out from other kids his own age when he doesn’t get a brand new tablet or iPad. But instead, he will get a badass pair of rollerblades or a bike. I want to instill in him the importance of bonding through human contact. In person… Not through a screen.
All I hope is that technology doesn’t replace the people we love.