Social Media and Technology Makes Us Lonely and Isolated
Technology has been the holy grail that has led to increased connectivity, new frontiers of business and economics and improved lives. On the other hand, it has also led to intense misery and contributed to the destruction of lives. Today, I will present facts and figures to enlighten your minds about the darker side of technology.
Technology… technology is supposed to make us more “connected.” We can stay in touch with our friends all the time on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… you name it. But, are our smartphones getting in the way of physical socializing, so much so we feel awkward when we meet new people or even seem to forget how to communicate with our peers face-to-face. Even though technology connects us to people around the world, it can also isolate us.
“Get connected” is a phrase that we have grown accustomed to in the 21st century. With technology developing faster than ever, the digital world is at our fingertips, literally. Some people may say that the introduction of social networking has helped to bring people “closer” together. I can’t dispute the fact that there are advantages to having technologies like Facebook connecting people. But in recent years, it has been exposed that these very same companies that claim to help us ‘make the world a smaller place’ have been illegally taking our personal data and selling it on to other companies. This should cause all of us to re-evaluate our relationship with social media and re-think how much data we are willing to put out there in cyberspace.
Although our online communities may have a likeness to real-life communities, they are nothing but numb conceptions of our day to day lives fueled by self-pride and egoism. With our reliance on social media sites such as Facebook, it is cutting us from real-life society, it is a sad truth that mankind, us, is looking at a very miserable and pitiful future; that is the plain truth.
Instead of meeting someone and finding out more about them, we tend to text or utilize our smartphones to communicate with people. Technology makes us more alone because we are always depending on these “screens”. When we start to get too attached to these screens, we start to compare our life with the lives of others by judging someone with the number of likes or followers they have. According to www.telegraph.co.uk, “being alone and isolated is even more dangerous to your wellbeing than being overweight.”
Did you know that loneliness can increase your risk of dying by 30%? According to psychalive.org. “Being alone can lead to depression. A lonely brain is structurally different. When someone gets lonely, their neural responses to positive images and events get suppressed, so the world is perceived through a negative filter.” Technology is great if we use it correctly with a certain limit, if we do not, it is going to shred our lives apart if we become too attached to it. Isn’t that right? We are more focused on talking to someone thousands of miles away rather than someone who is right next to us. When we use technology constantly, it makes it harder for us to socialize with people in real life. The more time we spend on our phones and televisions, the harder it will be for us to interact and talk to people in real life. As stated by www.businessinsider.com, “People who have lots of friends tend to be happier, healthier and live longer than the ones who do not have many or any friends in real life.”
Many people build transient relationships, they would not feel lonely but over time they will feel frustrated because they cannot interact with the other person face-to-face. We scroll through our Instagram in silence when we are in the car with our family. We text our friends instead of meeting them in person. It is easier for us to make friends virtually than in real life. This shows how attached we are to technology. Being too focused on a screen makes you forget the difference between being alone and being lonely. Technology negatively influences our social interaction; it makes people more socially awkward and lonely. In fact, according to www.greatergood.berkeley.edu, “smartphone use may be taking a toll on our biological capacity to connect with other people.”
Technology is negatively affecting our society, but that does not mean that we are going to stop using technology, it has come to stay. We do have a personal responsibility to not let technology dominate our lives. We should aim to strike a balance between our virtual and actual worlds. We can do this by playing a sport, having frequent dinners with our loved ones or friends and making sure that we put our phones away at those meetings.
I chose the topic of social media and technology because I felt like this is a highly controversial topic that should be discussed. Since many people have different views of this topic, I want my peers to listen to my opinion on how technology and social media can affect peoples’ lives in a negative way. There were many persuasive techniques that were useful, for example, statistics, quotations and expert opinions, counter-arguments and repetition. However, the persuasive technique I found most useful was rhetorical questions because it allows the audience a moment to pause and think about the question. For that reason, rhetorical questions are effective in hooking the audience’s interest and making them think about their own response to the question in hand. I took the idea of using personal pronouns from Old major’s speech because by using words such as, ’I’ or ’we’ or ’you’, the audience can see that I am speaking directly and only to them. I thought this would be successful because the use of personal pronouns can draw the audience into the topic and make them feel more involved immediately. In Old major’s speech, the use of “comrades”, definitely made me feel special, included and made me want to continue reading. I think I could have improved the speech by using more emotive language and the rule of 3 because it adds more emphasis and encourages the audience to respond on an emotional level, rather than considering the facts that I have mentioned.
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