The communication technology we have today was impossible to imagine just a decade or two ago yet there’s a growing sense of disconnection. As people become more and more dependent on technology in every aspect of life, we can’t help but wonder – do people really connect in this day and age? Here’s how technology affects and changes us as a society.
1. No eye contact
With our smartphones allowing non-stop access to information, games, email and social media, we’re constantly distracted by phone while talking face-to-face with real humans. Communication research tell us an average adult should make about 60% – 70% eye contact in order to establish an emotional connection. These days eye-contacts has dropped to 30%-60% meaning our face-to-face connections are less effective.
2. We become addicted
The numerous stimuli coming from social media, websites, emails, phone calls, and SMS increases dopamine production. This in turn stimulates and excites the brain making it addicted to technology. We can’t wait for the next fix.
3. We are isolated
Although the number of people we are connected to has risen due to social media, we now feel more isolated. We can interact with people all over the world but we tend to ignore the people who live next door. What’s the value of knowing so many people if we are not building genuine relationships?
4. Productivity drops
Due to the distraction of social media or emails, people tend to become less productive. We spend more time online and less time doing productive tasks. Many of us admit to checking social media feeds regularly even while at work.
5. Your private life
Just like it affects your productivity at work, technology also affects your private life including your time to relax and socialize. We are consumed by our small screens looking for our next dopamine buzz when our time could be better spend with friends and family or doing something we enjoy to help us relax.
6. Relationships are in the past?
Research has shown that the average person can establish up to 150 meaningful relationships in their lifetime. In other words, most of your online connections are meaningless because your human capacity can’t handle so many people.
7. Sleepless nights
The scientists at the National Sleep Foundation have confirmed what we all knew intuitively – the use of electronic devices disrupts our sleeping cycle.
8. Memorizing is just a memory
Why bother memorizing phone numbers or anything else when you can turn to Google any time? In addition to not memorizing things, people are also less likely to be organized. Why organize where you will meet someone ahead of time, when you can call them and find them later. Bottom line is – we’ve become lazy.
9. Privacy is relative
With so many hacking scandals and leaking of celebrity naked photos, does anyone expect their personal information to be safe online? People posts selfies, pics of their children, relationship statuses, and opinions about everything and everyone, there is almost nothing that remains private. We present a fake, idealistic life online, making us less happy with our real lives. We tend to compare ourselves to the others on social media and we conclude that everyone else has a better life than us.
10. What happened to manners?
The Internet is filled with people who threaten, stalk, and terrorize others. Trolls are everywhere online. What used to be unimaginable to say to someone’s face is now freely expressed because nobody has to meet online bullies in real life.
11. Fake News
On the one hand, information is widely accessible and that’s a good thing. On the other hand, great portions of the information online are inaccurate. But most people still can’t tell the difference and take everything they read for granted. Where we once used discretion, now people are becoming more gullible to a sensationalized story.