By Joshua Webster
Socialising in an anti-social time.
In the recent pandemic, being social with your friends and family has been nothing short of impossible for an incredibly long time. At the peak, the world was in a state of lockdown, preventing the simplest of human requirements, socialising.
Without this state of human connection, we can feel lost, lonely and unhappy.
However, this pleasure was rescued by technology. Through Facetime, Houseparty, Zoom and other hosting software, we could be next to our closest friends for hours on end, keeping us all connected. At the tip of our fingers we can send messages, videos and pictures to all of our friends from across the globe with such ease. This truly is a time to celebrate the movement technology has had, helping us to connect like never before.
There is however, an incredibly sinister side to this luxury. Studies have shown the dangerous repercussions coming from the advancement of technology and more specifically, the smart phones.
You may think:
”I don’t spend that long on my phone, only a bit of time messaging friends, scrolling on Instagram and perhaps watching Netflix; this cannot be particularly bad for me?”
Even the biggest and brightest in the tech industry admit to how difficult it is to tear yourself away from your phone.
For example, the invention of the notification plays on your human emotion of curiosity, which leads to further use on your phone.
The idea behind these companies is simple, how can I keep users on our app for as long as possible?
Think back to a time you’ve spent on an app thinking “okay, just one more minute and then I’ll stop” or “just one more video, then I’ll go to bed”.
We’re all guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time on our phone.
The tech industries play on this ‘addiction’ as much as possible. This leads to isolation and bizarrely enough, anti-social tendencies, which is incredibly ironic.
Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and in more severe cases, body dysmorphia are on the rise. The overuse of smart phones on specific apps or hours spent on the internet, exposing us to a “highlight reel” or “perfection”, is assisting the feelings of insecurity through wrongful exposure.
What I advise to do for those who feel like a challenge or willing to see how much you use your device, is to pay closer attention to your ‘screen time’, really paying attention how long you spend on your phone, even focusing on the time spent on each app. If you have an iPhone, this is super easy as you can even place the app on your home screen (like I have done). Over the next week, use your phone as normal and take note of your habits and then the second week, see if you can limit your usage. This test is to really see how addicted to your phone you are or perhaps aren’t.
Why should I bother doing this?
Well, it’s more difficult than you think to prevent overuse and more importantly, the further use only caters for advertising industries to prevail, with targeting advertisements and spread of misinformation.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re careful with your phone/tablet/laptop, not spending too much time obsessing over it, you’ll be just fine.
The world now is becoming more reliant on technology, however it’s important to focus on how it can hinder us and our personal development.
Lonely: being unhappy because alone or do not have anyone to talk to. Do you know the difference? Lone, lonely or lonesome…
On end: continuously
At the tip of our fingers: you have information at your fingertips, you can get it and use it very easily
Tear somebody away: make someone stop doing something enjoyable usually because they have to go somewhere or do something else. learn more
Play on something:If you play on/upon someone’s feelings, you encourage and make unfair use of these feelings in order to give yourself an advantage
Guilty: Adjective from Guilt a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong, such as causing harm to another person
Inordinate: much more than usual or expected
Addiction: an inability to stop doing or using something, especially something harmful
To be on the rise: increasing in amount, number, level. Becoming more popular
Wrongful: not fair, not just, not legal.
Feel like (something): To have an inclination or desire to do or have something. Do you remember I don’t feel like dancin’?
Bother: take the trouble to do something. Disturbe someone.
Cater for: to provide what is wanted or needed by someone or something
At the end of the day: when everything is taken into consideration
Reliant: needing a particular thing or person in order to continue, to work correctly, or to succeed. Rely on