The loneliness in times of global connection

Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and sociologist, has a very interesting study on how our devices and online personas are redefining human communication. She said: “We expect more from technology and less from each other”.

It inspired me a deep thought and this article on how mankind became so lonely by experiencing a lack of real relationships.

Our little devices became so familiar, that many people have a hard time being physically separated from their smartphones, tablets or Pcs, even when it’s time to sleep.

There is no eye contact anymore, as people are texting or checking e-mail and Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or Instagram while you are talking. Instead of nice conversation during meals (IF family gets together for that), each one has a private solitary world to check. Nobody gives full attention to the other, but only to their devices. Even being together at the same place it doesn’t mean they are really together. Technology is definitely changing the way people interact and face life and relationships.

People don’t develop warm contacts anymore and are hiding their real inner from each other.

Another interesting behavior has been developed since Internet and social networks were born. Many people create their “virtual personas” (Avatars) and use Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Virtual Worlds, etc like their shrink (analyst). They wake up and go to their “web pages” to vent their frustrations or anger, and many will have an “online argument” through “Twitts” and Facebook messages (check the “haters”); also (without any special reason or goal) many will tell what they are eating/ drinking (and post photos to share with their “followers”!). They “must” share everything, even embarrassing situations. It became a need and addiction!

  • Social media became shrink offices for those seeking acceptance.

Nobody has 1000, 3000 or 5.000.000 friends. Why people are feeling so insecure and are almost begging for followers and “likes”? We can enjoy much more than few short texts and emoticons to communicate. And most of all, we can have intelligent and pleasant conversation, but so many have nothing to say or don’t develop their intellect and don’t know how to chat.

Society became too shallow and is not interested in going deeper in a text or conversation.  If a text has more than 3 lines they simply stop reading or if the title catches attention, many will “share” without even knowing exactly what it is.

Real conversation can’t be edited before you talk, like posting, texting or e-mailing. People present themselves as they would like to be and create their personas to please others. That’s why the more connected they are, the less real and warm relationship they get. They just post a beautiful quote and photo of others and get hundreds “likes”.

It is enough for many of them, as they hide behind avatars and their personal pages and don’t want others to be closer than that. Photos are overly retouched to hide imperfections, words are edited and copied/pasted to sound smarter, and “characters” conquer more “followers”, but where is the real person? This persona is lonely and enjoying a “virtual” stage.

Spreading wise words and beauty created per other people is very nice, for sure! I am not denying it, but we can’t use it to build our image and then, spread it through Internet and innumerous devices, instead of sharing real contact and who we really are. Are you happy with your virtual “friends”, whose probably you will never meet in real in 99%? Do you really think they all care about you?

Devices became so powerful that human beings depend on them 24/7. We can’t deny Social Media and those devices are genius and help us to live a richer life. When explored wisely, it can be a perfect tool for Personal and business Marketing to reach millions and make the difference. But, balance is the key!

There is even a new “phobia” called Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term is an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone” phobia.

Tweets, texting and shares give the false sensation that you are not alone and when people realize it can’t solve all their problems, they panic and run to find any device.

I am not against Internet and computers, smartphones or tablets; they are very important and utile. But, I am concerned that so many people, especially the Y generation, are loosing the magic we can experience in a simple talk eye to eye…

Where technology will take us if we don’t balance the way we use it in our lives?

Let’s find some time to meet face-to-face and talk about what really matters.
Would you dare?

 

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