The results of various scientific research and surveys are now proving the statement that technology makes people more alone.
Technology make us more alone
Past few years have witnessed a great change in how we used to communicate and interact with each other. The impact of technology on our mental well being is much deeper than most of us would think of it to be.
To understand how grim the situation actually is, we should know the fact that The red cross society addressed Loneliness as The hidden epidemic, countries such as U.K and Japan had to create Ministry of Loneliness to make people feel connected and more countries are feeling the urgency of taking such measures.
But why, What has happened in just a span of a few years that billions of dollars are being spent on research and healthcare just to tackle Loneliness and make people feel connected. Weren’t human’s supposed to be social animals ?
There are many factors that are responsible for this and all are directly or indirectly related to technology.
Let’s get back to the time of the early 1970’s and 80’s, when the Internet was in its early development phase, Computers were showing up and the barriers of borders and languages were breaking. People were travelling abroad more frequently thanks to development in aviation and transportation technology.
Newspapers, Television and other forms of mass media went mainstream. The world was changing at a much faster pace than it did before. The pressure to be successful and rich increased and the show-off culture started developing.
Coming forward to the early 2010’s, we see social media and search engines getting popular. The Internet came up as a revolutionary tool that was going to change the world and It did !
It changed the world with an unimaginable pace, It gave everyone a platform to connect and to interact.
But coming back to the present time, We see Internet as the most prominent reason for increasing loneliness.
So, where did things go wrong ?
Well, no-one could arrive at an accurate reason but many believe social media and the online culture that developed through to it, as the real culprit.
Social media apps were designed to connect people but what they did was completely opposite.
Social media apps like :- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube and almost all of them are designed to be addictive. These apps work for free but they still make billions of dollars in revenue every year, How ? from ads.
- How much they earn depends directly on the number of ads they show to us and the more time we spend on them, the more are their chances of earning.
- So, the algorithms of these apps are constantly being updated to give us the type of content we would like to see and spend more time online.
But keeping us glued to screen is just the first step of the online trap, the second and the most dangerous step is the creation of a false reality.
Like all other businesses, online businesses too run for profit, for profit they need sales and for sales they sell emotions.
All the models, celebrities and so called influencers always look absolutely fit and beautiful in their Instagram posts. Being in the so-called perfect shape is now a criteria for being called beautiful.
Having the latest model I-phone, owning a luxurious car and hosting expensive parties are the symbols of being successful and when someone’s unable to keep up with all these, they get a feeling of being a loser and try to isolate themselves.
That’s the reason why the University of Arizona study found social media users three times more prone to loneliness than casual users.
Social media alone isn’t at the fault here. Technological reforms as a whole is responsible for this. It has tremendously increased the pace of change which has increased the competition.
To be successful and rich is a necessity now, which has made people think more about themselves and less about others. This has also led some people to cheat and to deceive others due to which many people are taking interest in living alone rather than facing the nuisance of companionship.
More people than ever feel that their relationship bonds are weakening and in countries like the USA it’s more than half of all the mature population. Directly or indirectly, technology has increased the feeling of loneliness among people and this statement is now backed up with all the recent data on mental and emotional well being.
The problem of increasing loneliness due to technology isn’t something that could be solved in a fortnight. Effects of technology in our lives are now so deep rooted that it would be very hard to reduce them but it isn’t impossible.
Increasing awareness not only theoretically but also practically about how technology can lead to loneliness and how we can solve them. Making people observe positive changes in their life with limited use of social media and the internet are some measures that can surely help us to tackle this situation.
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