Graphic by Nate Barton
Technology has brought so many amazing things to life. However, some people are so fascinated with technology and all that it has to offer that they disconnect from this world to connect to a virtual world. This results in isolation from those around them, and that is when technology becomes a problem.
This need for technology and constantly being on the phone is isolating people from the real world, which can have some repercussions, such as feeling lonely, disconnected and dissatisfied.
Around 70 percent of millennials are so consumed in their own ideal virtual world that whenever they spend some time away from it, they later feel the need to catch up with what they missed out, according to Kate Taylor’s article “The ‘FOMO Epidemic’ and Why It Matters to Millennial-Hungry Businesses,” published Sept. 17, 2014 by Entrepreneur.
This is FOMO, fear of missing out, which makes people feel anxious and more alone. “FOMO is often linked to feelings of disconnection and dissatisfaction, and social media fuels it,” according to Kristi Hedges’s article “Do You Have FOMO: Fear of Missing Out?,” published Mar 27, 2014 by Forbes.
I have noticed that many groups of friends are not truly interacting with one another. They are constantly looking at a screen while others are talking to them and now feel the need to document every thing they do: “Pics, or it did not happen.”
Some people forget that “digital communication can never replace in person, face-to-face, contact in building relationships — personal and professional,” according to Margie Warrell’s article “Text or Talk: Is Technology Making You Lonely?,” published May 24, 2012 by Forbes.
There are many ways to overcome these problems with technology. “The more we rely on technology in our lives the more mindful we must be to turn it off and spend time with people, without our gadgets beeping at us to return texts that really, aren’t worth our time to reply to,” according to Warrell’s article.
To avoid isolation, people should also become aware of the problem and live in the real world and interact with others, instead of interacting with their device. People should also consider having specific times of the day when they use and don’t use their phones to avoid isolation around others.
Follow Carolina Pinto on Twitter: @caroli_mmp