Connected In Isolation
We are living in the most connected time in history. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, Facetime …
Why is it we have an epidemic of loneliness?
Depression, anxiety and stress are at all time highs. We are so consumed with the circumstances immediately in front of us, we feel lonely and isolated in the most connected society. Isolation is not just hiding in a cave alone, it happens in the midst of a crowd and a calendar full of activities.
A recent review of studies indicates that loneliness increases mortality risk by 26%.
Technology has several advantages and disadvantages, as we have seen quite some time ago.
Among the advantages, communication, globalization of data, benefits related to well-being in different areas, and as disadvantages can be mentioned anxiety, addiction, sedentary lifestyle, and a possible isolation by society. The truth is that the fact that there are more and more screens that surround us all the time, one may think that technology is beginning to break real links to virtualize them. That is why, when one is constantly digitizing a relationship, one is actually isolating rather than joining. That is why you have to separate the concepts.
The fact of being all day talking on cell phones or on computer chat does not mean that we are really communicating.
Perhaps, if we do not do it frequently or do not become vital in the virtual relationship, we do not isolate ourselves. But if we think that is where the essence is, we may be in trouble.
Technology can cause isolation in society if we spend too much time building relationships via the Internet, when we really have to do this in reality. That is why we isolate ourselves far more than we believe. Also, a sedentary lifestyle can be a cause or a reason to get caught in a technology screen and not go for a walk, isolating ourselves further. But anyway, being close to technology does not mean isolating oneself, but using it too much can have an impact on other aspects such as this one we are talking about.
When we are with friends, instead of communicating with them and interacting, we are talking on something like WhatsApp, with other friends.
Phubbing is when we are ignoring the surroundings for being in front of a screen.
This, although we do not believe it, is a symptom of isolation, since ultimately, we are not paying attention to our relationships.
Everything has to be in balance. Virtual screens are not evil, but you have to use them consciously knowing that they can cause emotional damage if you don’t use them wisely. If we know how to appreciate true friendships, we will not have problems in not converting them into something virtual or digital.