Technology makes us more alone

Rachel Carwile, Reporter

Technology is making people feel more alone rather than making them feel more connected and independent without it. Researchers have found that it is making people feel more anxious and less independent.

Simultaneously technology feels more dependent on social connections relatively then depending on real life connections.Technology to communicate can reduce enjoyment of face-to-face interactions, feel more anxious, and undermine mental wellbeing. Loneliness may also be more painfully felt online, where exposure to idealised images of friends can result in negative social comparisons. Technology can feel more alone because people can become more dependent on social media connections than real life connections.

Recent studies have found that despite being more connected than ever, more people feel more alone than ever. Another recent study found that 48% of respondents only had one confidant compared to a similar study 25 years ago when people said they had about three people they could confide in. A study conducted in the UK showed that people who spent a lot of time online exhibit negative traits such as narcissism in real life. When users constantly post about their lives and appearances and try to one-up or copy Instagram influencers’ lavish lives, it causes self-centeredness and lack of empathy for others. Into the bargain the average amount of screen time being spent by people today has grown to 11 hours. That’s an increase of nine hours and 45 minutes from last year’s research.

Technology provides the possibility to work remotely, to be able to keep up with the news and its latest developments, and it provides the ability to call with family and friends, and more importantly, it keeps connected to each other. Although technology has created the illusion that everyone is all highly connected, and social when in reality people are deprived of real human interaction, which has led to a loneliness epidemic and lowered team commitment. The freedom that technology has given has had the reverse effect on personal needs. Instead of making people feel connected, they provoke feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Technology can make people feel more dependent on social connections relatively then depending on real life connections. It is easier to make friends virtually than in real life. This shows how attached to technology some people can be. Being too focused on a screen makes people forget the difference between being alone and being lonely. Technology negatively influences our social interaction, it makes people more socially awkward and lonely.