Technology has come a long, long way in a relatively short period of time. Back in the 1990s, we began to see the possibilities as the Internet became more of a way of life. Things have only progressed since then, connecting everyone around the globe in a mere matter of moments.
Despite being able to connect with nearly anyone on the globe, has it pushed us further apart and made us more alone? Let’s take a look at the issue of “Does technology make us more alone: pros and cons.”
Does Technology Make Us More Alone?
Despite the ability to connect with nearly anyone on the globe, we as a society are feeling more and more alone as the widespread use of digital screens continues to grow. Experts believe that constant access, particularly to smartphones, prevents us from making real social connections.
Many people have developed this habit of reaching for a smartphone at any free moment. But that behavior could make the feeling of loneliness worse. There have been several studies to support this idea, with the findings of smartphone dependence becoming higher and higher, correlating with depression and loneliness in young adults.
There are also experts who have confirmed that too much time on social media can cause serious emotional harm. As a matter of fact, heavy social media users are more than three times more likely to feel as though they are socially isolated than more casual users.
Those who heavily participate in social media feel as if they are missing out on some meaningful social events. It also leads to feelings of stress, insecurity, and exclusion.
That feeling of social isolation can lead to some very troubling paths. Those who have extreme beliefs tend to seek out lonely people on other discussion forms or social media, sharing and spreading harmful views of the world. This extremism can take advantage of the anger and loneliness felt by these people through a sense of community and belonging while washing over them with hostile content.
Pros of Technology
- The World Is a Smaller Place
The ability of technology to make the world more connective is incredible. It is possible to keep in touch with friends or family from across the world in real time through video messaging and messaging services.
For those who like exploring new cultures, it is possible to see new countries and cultures and experience new opportunities with just a few clicks and the right tools. That is what technology can offer.
- The Ultimate Convenience
There was a time, not all that long ago, in fact, when you had to do things such as go to the bank, pay bills in person, go to the movies, etc. But now, with the help of your smart device, you can do all of those things with the tap of a button.
Online banking, paying with your bank card, accessing your vitals, watching hours upon hours of entertainment, gaming, and about a million other things are now all accessible in no time. It has given us the ability to manage our entire lives on one device, resulting in convenience like no other.
- Research at the Tip of Your Finger
Believe it or not, Google has not been around all that long. For a long time, if you didn’t know the answer to something, you had to hope that you could find a book or a friend who had the answer. Either that, or you didn’t find out the answer.
But now, we can search for the answer to any question we could imagine. While not every Google search turns up a great answer, there is more information at our fingertips than there has ever been.
Cons of Technology
- It Can Be Destructive
There are many who feel as though advancements in weaponry will be our downfall. It is perhaps the single greatest downside of technology. There have been world-altering developments in nuclear, atomic, and hydrogen weaponry.
That is not even touching the potential for cyber war. Data breaches at major companies can have a huge impact, let alone when countries are openly waging digital war on one another without any of us really being aware of it.
- Health Problems
On a personal level, one of the biggest issues with technology is the plethora of problems that it can lead to with your health. People are sitting for longer periods of time than they ever have before. Work and home are inundated with screens.
Constant sitting can be dangerous for one’s long-term health. Using technology frequently can lead to wrist, hand, and forearm pain, issues with your eyes, and social isolation, which can contribute to serious mental health issues.
- Lack of Privacy
Data security is a major topic of debate these days. Companies everywhere have access to our personal information, using it to find the best ways in which to sell us products. There is concern that being so connected has rendered our information public for anyone to see.
There are ways to look up phone numbers, email addresses, and even a person’s name using public records. There are crawlers on social media feeds that look for things you’ve posted. Though we are anonymous online, we aren’t really because of the amount of information that gets shared on a daily basis.
In the matter of “Does technology make us more alone: pros or cons,” there can be a serious debate that it indeed does isolate us more. There have been several studies to show that this is more fact than debate.
With an increased use of technology and a higher interaction time on social media, we begin to feel more disconnected from the world around us. It takes a balance of life and technology, one that is becoming harder to find.