Rekindle & Disconnect
As I sit, perched upon a slightly uncomfortable wooden bench, surrounded by a swarm of people, I take note of exactly three different groups of people having an uninterrupted conversation. The rest? Unapologetically immersed into varying devices snugged tightly into their palms. In these moments, where groups of people nestle right next to one another, and not a word is said, I realize how detached we are as a society. Instead of allowing technology to cater to our needs, we allow simple distractions to flood our daily lives.
Yodeling boy, perpetual snap stories, and an endless sea of memes…Welcome to the 21st century, an era of continual posts, shares, and messages aimed at one purpose: entertainment. Yet with this ease of communication, distraction has become more prevalent. Individuals seem to bathe in online platforms for whatever reason, ranging from boredom to simple daily interactions with one another. But even with all this talk about logging off, there is still the perpetual serge of phone usage: everywhere.
So, what is to say about a society that would rather scroll through Instagram than hold an intellectual conversation? Or perhaps a generation that seeks comfort in memes as opposed to quality time with friends? Personally, I see a hindrance in human interaction and a lesser capability to enjoy life’s intricacies.
As human beings, we seek intimacy, as mentioned by psychologist Karen W. Tao. Her studies have shown that people are more apt to scroll through media platforms as a coping method to their real- life woes. She notes that the key to dealing with stresses and troubles is through human interaction. But instead, people isolate themselves behind a brightly lit phone screen. Additionally, Tao reports that 69% of people use Facebook for about one to two hours per day. That’s two whole hours essentially wasted looking at what others are doing and not worrying about one’s own agenda. It seems as if memes and snap stories claimed the highest spot on priorities.
Overall, technology has provided luxurious gadgets, incredible media platforms, and an everlasting ease of communication. However, society has taken advantage of brief distractions and used them as an immediate escape from whatever, or even whoever, they might not want to see, hear, and encounter. Social media is great when used within moderation. But enough is enough. That said, it is time to learn how to rekindle our ability to interact and have enough self-control to disconnect from our phones.