Technology has disrupted more industries than we care to remember. But with the onslaught of social media platforms, tools, and new technologies, a counter-narrative has also surfaced.
Researchers are keenly asking one question- “Does technology make us lonely?”
What do we need to change to be able to use technology-based tools for stronger connectivity and avoid social isolation?
In a deluge of tools competing for our attention, have we forgotten what matters most?
Does Technology Make Us Lonely Or Make Us Connect Better?
Friends we connect with on social media may be vastly different from our real networks. As humans, we crave intimacy.
The author of Find your courage, Margie Warrell says, “Genuine intimacy demands vulnerability and vulnerability requires courage. It requires that we lay down the masks we can so easily hide behind online, and reveal all of who we are with others – the good, the bad and the sometimes not so (photo-shopped) pretty.”
How Does Your Family See You?
A thousand Instagram likes or Facebook friends aren’t necessarily representative of an audience that truly knows you. Your real community doesn’t see you through digital filters but from a place of love and friendship. Your family and friends don’t care about the vanity of your next selfie or the quality of your shoe collection.
They care about your presence.
Suggested Read: Finding Gratitude In Life’s Ordinary Moments
Tools from Digital Technology
Digital technology has unleashed tools that help us stay connected. But you choose the true north through your use of these tools. The function of any digital tool isn’t to singlehandedly give you more friends. Tools are also incapable of making you feel lonely (at least till we reach singularity). But technology can definitely help reduce barriers in communication, especially if all your friends and family don’t live in a single location. You can also just find a ton of daily inspiration and abundant love for life and work. There’s no doubt that technology is disruptive in that it has widened the canvas and democratized the media landscape. Digital tools are making many areas of our life more accessible.
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However, no amount of digital media can replace real-life conversations and laughter. The function of a tool is to simplify the way you reach those who matter.
What do you think? How has digital media altered your life?