I have often thought about how we, as ever-curious humans, are being affected by social media and technology as a whole. With any issue, there are good arguments for both sides. There are people that believe that technology is the devil and is the root of all evil, and then there are people who see a lot of merit in the benefits it has provided us with. I personally see both sides, and I think that we can reach a middle ground between these two stances.
Before I give you my take, watch this video:
Interesting right? I’m not sure about you, but at least for me, I am constantly checking my phone all day, every day. If I am ever in an awkward situation, I will get out my phone and start mindlessly scrolling. If I forget my phone when I go to the bathroom, I feel completely lost, but even more importantly… BORED! There will be times when I forget my phone and go do something, but my empty pocket makes me feel like I’m completely naked. And that thought completely takes over. It dominates my thoughts to the point where all I think about is how much I wish I had my phone, and can’t wait to get back to see what notifications I missed. I will be the first to admit that I am completely and utterly ADDICTED to my phone. And the fact that I am thinking these thoughts absolutely terrifies me. How is it that something that brings endless amounts of entertainment can leave us feeling so empty at the end of the day?
We are constantly “wired in”. No matter if we’re at a business meeting, class, or just hanging out with friends, we are all buried in our phones. It is quickly eliminating human interaction. That is a fact that cannot be argued against. Don’t believe me? Check this out. There are numerous studies that show the negative effects of technology. But the ironic thing is, the large majority of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the use of the internet or some type of technology. It always makes me laugh that all of these anti-technology studies are using technology to prove their point. I am writing this blog on, yup you guessed it, the internet. So I am just as guilty.
But, this just goes to show that it isn’t all bad. There are also so many wonderful things that the internet has given us. Social media has given us the ability to connect with those who, without it, we would lose touch with. I can be connected with people all around the world with a simple press of a button. And that is where the internet prevails over face-to-face connection. I am Facebook friends with people I went to Elementary School with. I am connected on Linked-In with my previous teachers, professors, and bosses; all of whom I would not still be in contact with if it weren’t for the internet. It can be a fantastic tool if it is used in MODERATION.
So if moderation is the key, then let’s just use our phones on occasion. Easy enough right? Well, not so much. The little notifications on our devices actually tell our brains to release some dopamine. Dopamine, in simple terms, is a natural drug our bodies make that makes us feel good. This video explains why that ‘ding’ on our phone, tablet, and computer does more than we think. It is “the drug of the 21st century” as that video puts it. And they are spot-on
I’ll put it simply, technology will take over your life if you let it. You are in control. Put your phone down and experience what is going on around you. I know that is easier said than done, as well. But, the internet can be a black hole on your life if you don’t make a conscious effort to control it.
Let’s take back over our own lives.