We are more technologically connected than ever, but are we less connected to each other?
Seemingly, the answer is yes. And research is backing this up with interesting findings in the quest to better understand human behavior in a social media crazed society.
Why do we need to be constantly connected to all things media? Why have we become wired this way?
An article published in 250 words examines those of us who have our feet in both worlds; born before the era of the internet, but now rooted and immersed daily in the world of technology.
Referring to those being born pre-1985 as knowing a “sense of absence” and doing nothing, and how this is now lost, killed by devices, apps and the continual tethering of our daily schedules, our attention and even details of our lives to an ever present online connection.
Of course this affects us as a society, but on an individual scale it may be hindering our thoughts, any attempts at impromptu creative processes and the ability to really relax and just let things be.
One study looked into the technology use of individuals spread across 4 different generations. Over 1,000 participants completed surveys about technology use, including social media presence.
It was found that one variable was a significant predictor of social media usage: a reported anxiety over not being able to check in with forms of online communication as much as desired. Across the board, users conveyed a range of heightened anxiety levels over being restricted in checking in on their social media sites or messages.
As the study examined, participating for both pleasure seeking and anxiety avoidance are reasons for using social technologies. However, feeling a marked increased anxiety over not being able to be connected at will to social media and electronic communication devices reflects an eye-opening look at our culture.
It seems we would all have enough anxiety throughout the day, without voluntarily adding to it by our self-imposed need to be constantly virtually connected and in-the-know.
A smartly titled article published in Outside Magazine, “Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning“, poignantly reviews what we can miss out on from the natural world due to a constant digital connection.
Writer Florence Williams references a book that reported on average, most people in the U.S. spend at minimum a full 8 hours per day staring at a screen.
So, what do you think?
Are we too connected, and disconnected and disenchanted with reality?
Check out ProCon.org for more information about social media statistics and research.
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