Technology means we’re constantly connected.
As discussed in my previous post, technology is incredible for people that are physically apart from people that they want to remain close to. If we miss somebody and want to let them know, all we have to do is press one button and we can hear their voice, or even see their face. You can share photos from your day through Snapchat so that they basically join you in whatever you experience, and they can do the same. We can even just share memes with each other and use them to laugh at something stupid together! Distance is becoming less and less of a problem, and long-distance relationships now have a 58 percent success rate, according to a recent American study.
Can we ever be too connected?
However, just because technology such as messenger and video calls exist, it doesn’t mean that they can completely replace real face-to-face conversations.
It can be very easy for miscommunication to occur via text. There’s no effective way to convey which tone you’re using, which can make sarcasm quickly become the start of an argument. Even with video chat, the fact that you both have to schedule a call can make it seem more like a chore than something you want to do for fun, even if you really do want to talk to that person. Not to mention the fact that if one person is unable to take the call then the other person is left feeling rejected and unable to see that person at all.
And sure, you can send someone an emoji quickly to let them know that you’re thinking of them, but I think that we could all agree it isn’t not quite the same.
What’s the harm?
While social media does bring a lot of benefits, it has been said that it can be very harmful to a person’s mental health. In March, it was reported that more than a third of Generation Z from a survey of 1,000 individuals stated that they were quitting social media for good as 41 per cent stated that social media platforms make them feel anxious, sad or depressed. (Independent)
Young people in particular are known to have a low self-esteem, and those that have just moved away or find themselves alone for the first time are particularly vulnerable. It’s so easy nowadays to check your phone quickly and see updates from people that seemingly have their lives completely put together. There are so many people on Instagram with millions of followers that seem to just be showing off their wealthy lifestyle. For example, there was a trend in October called ‘Flaunt Your Wealth’.
Social media means that you can literally edit your life. People are only gonna see the best parts. For example, when you go on a night out with your friends, nobody is going to see what state you were in at the end of the night when you stumbled in through the door at 4am.
This can leave people feeling like a complete mess and questioning their entire lives. But people forget that although social media allows you to connect, it’s also incredibly easy to hide the negative aspects of your life. You can be having a complete breakdown and reply with an “I’m fine” text, and nobody would suspect any different.
Not so social.
I believe that too much connection can actually lead to more loneliness.
Social media allows for a lot of empty communication. Since, as I mentioned before, you can easily hide your true emotions over social media. You can have full conversations where you never reveal your feelings or what you’re actually thinking. Non-verbal communication and facial expressions are very important when it comes to interpreting a person’s words. And while video chat is an incredible step up from just texting, it still isn’t particularly practical at all times and therefore is still used less commonly than texting is. “Emotions are universal and no matter what part of the world from which you come or what language you speak, your facial expressions will always be the same and replicated by persons who otherwise cannot understand a word you are saying.”
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!