Technology has provided so many opportunities for us to connect. Technology has provided us the opportunity to learn.
Driving down the road with one of my best friends, we were on our way to go hiking and to catch up. This is normal for our relationship, taking hikes or long walks while we catch up over the previous month’s events. While driving, we were in the midst of talking and laughing when all of the sudden my friend became quiet. I looked over to see what had happened and realized she had gotten a text message.
Technology has provided so many opportunities for us to connect. Old friends or extended family members don’t seem so distant, so far away. We have the ability to celebrate victories and learn about struggles. In many ways we can maintain relationships with some who otherwise we might feel detached from.
Technology has provided us the opportunity to learn, to become educated on nearly anything. This also allows us to connect more with others as we become more knowledgeable about certain things. We open ourselves up to opportunities where we might connect more with those of similar interests, including romantic interests.
As someone who met their spouse online, I can attest, there are many benefits in regards to technology; however, with these improvements, there have also been declines.
Relationships have diminished, people have become divided and in some cases, destroyed. People argue, fight, bully and make inaccurate assumptions about one another. Reputations, bank accounts and much more have been wiped away and/or ruined.
Back to my friend in the car, we laughed about it and discussed how much technology has changed relationships and expectations. The truth is that none of us like being forgotten or overlooked by a phone. I wonder how much anxiety and depression has increased because people are constantly being ignored or put on the back-burner when a phone emits some sort of noise.
My friend and I discussed how both of our parents had lived during a period of time where it was normal to be apart and only talk on the phone for a few minutes each week because of different restrictions. My friend expressed that now, if a guy she is dating doesn’t respond to her within a day or two, she would write him off as disinterested.
What about continued distractions as well?
For example, in October of 2013, a gunman boarded a train in San Francisco. The train’s video footage shows the man pull out a gun, waive it around, pointing it at several passengers. He does this multiple times before he shoots one but it is only after the gun goes off that any of the passengers notice. Completely engrossed in their phones, the passengers on that train never see the obvious threat in front of them.
We hear about this with distracted driving as well. Many believe that if something really serious were happening they would notice and yet according to the CDC’s website every day 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured due to distracted driving.
Many of us have heard that we are here to connect. If that’s truly the case then how much does technology help us do that? Of course, in some ways it is the mode in which we can connect and yet a teenage boy playing video games online with his friends, is he connecting more or less? Has he traded his real life for a virtual one? Real relationships for virtual ones? And how real are virtual relationships?
Most of us know that everything we do online, every app we use on our phone, consists of a certain amount of computer code and yet I can’t help but wonder if it’s time for us to change our code.
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