5 Reasons Why Technology Is Ruining Our Society
Our society is lacking face-to-face interaction and an appreciation for nature and the real (not virtual) world around us.
I’ll admit that I use the Internet and social media just as much as the next millennial, but there are five main reasons why I firmly believe that our society is deteriorating because of technology.
1. Silence has become unacceptable.
Young adults, myself included, often feel uncomfortable with silence. Rather than sit with our feelings or risk awkward conversation, we retreat to the “safe” distraction of our cell phones. Instead of walking through the streets with our phones in our pockets, we have our noses glued to our screens, even when we’re crossing the street (which I don’t recommend btw).
There are opportunities that are disappearing. There are people we are passing without noticing. We never know whom we might meet and what we might be missing if we don’t take time to be aware of our surroundings.
2. Students lack the discipline to sit through one-hour classes.
It has become inevitable for students to text, Snapchat, or scroll through Instagram and Facebook during class. Our intellect and opportunities to become educated are diminishing.
Studying for tests, sitting through a discussion, or listening to a professor’s lecture coincide with multitasking. Research shows that multitasking (on a laptop) causes divided attention and fragmented information processing, both of which can result in lower performance levels.
3. We spend money “for the Insta”.
We order artsy-looking foods, not to enjoy the taste, but to post photos on Instagram. We travel to new places or experience new activities to take photos, almost as if to show off or prove our worthiness to our friends. It has become the norm to spend an excessive amount of hours editing and adding filters to photos to achieve perfection – removing blemishes, making ourselves appear skinnier, and modifying the colors and saturation. Honestly, what’s the point?
4. Popularity is defined by followers.
We Millenial and Gen Z folks have succumbed to social media’s aspirations, and the different platforms have successfully consumed our lives. The culture of technology has begun to define our self-worth by the amount of followers or “likes” we receive. We care deeply about the specific people who “like” our photos and strive to obtain the most number of followers. We determine people’s styles, personalities and “coolness” by how they publicize themselves on social media and by how beautiful their Instagram flow appears to be.
5. Quality time with others has translated to texts and selfies.
Hanging out with friends and spending time with family has transformed into a virtual reality. People no longer have an easy time looking others in the eyes or communicating face-to-face because of the constant need for photos and status updates. Eye contact is deteriorating and intimate connection is decaying. People have become compelled to check the notifications on their phones the second they hear a buzz, no matter who might be speaking or how important the topic may be.
Whether it’s when you’re walking home, listening to a class lecture, or getting coffee with a friend, try staying in the present moment by absorbing the information you’re hearing, being aware of your surroundings, and noticing the emotion of the person to whom you’re speaking. Do something that’s genuinely enjoyable for you – not just to post it on Snapchat. Take a moment each day to put your phone away and live real life.