We text our friends instead of meeting up for a coffee, we send emails to people we’ve never met and don’t intend to, and we ignore the nice old lady on the street asking for directions purely because our Instagram feed seems to need our immediate attention.
This technological detachment is becoming today’s reality.
Little by little, technology is destroying the meaningfulness of the interactions that we have, disconnecting us from the world around us. This leads to many of us feeling lonely and isolated.
Instead of spending quality time with our friends we have a 2-minute text conversation, expecting it to suffice. A smiley emoji may be cute but according to research, more than 90% of human communication consists of body language. When you see the way that the person you are talking to reacts, you are able to better understand how they are feeling. True connection can therefore not be made without a face-to-face interaction. We need to see each other.
This doesn’t just apply to our nearest and dearest; it applies to the whole world going on around us. Face-to-face interaction is proven by studies to comfort us and provide us with some important sense of well-being, whether it’s sharing a joke with a stranger in an elevator, smiling at the girl with the cool cat sweater, or having a conversation with a friendly shop assistant.
The sad fact is that the more Facebook friends we have, the less real connection we actually make. Numerous studies confirm that it’s not the number of friends but the quality of a few relationships that actually matter. So why are we prioritising our 1000+ facebook friends when we could be putting time into deep friendships?
There are some positives to technology, like how it’s made it possible to maintain long-distance friendships that would have otherwise fallen by the wayside. But we have to be able to technology for good, and not let it get in the way with us being present in reality. We can’t keep spreading ourselves too thin, slowly ruining the quality of social interaction that we all need as human beings.
It’s pretty clear that the way we use technology has got to change if we want to avoid a world devoid of connection. So let’s spend more time with good friends, talk to the stranger on the bus, and make the relationships that count, not relying on technology to do the job for us.