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How technology is actually preventing us from disconnecting.

30 May

We hear it all the time, the internet and cell phones are to driving us into isolation. They get blamed for our lack of apparent connection to one another these days and for the loss of “community”. They are pushing us away from participating in the real world. So on and so on. But, what if we look at it the other way around. What if this technology is actually preventing us from isolation and keeping us connected, when what we really want is to be disconnected.

We all know they type of people I’m talking about and we all have them in our lives. They are the toxic people that bring out the worst in us and make us feel terrible about ourselves because of it. They don’t enrich our lives, but instead take from it without giving anything back. Without all these types of technology, we probably would have tried to cut the ties that bind long ago.

So why do we keep them in our lives? Well, unfortunately, we can’t cut ties to everyone who drive us crazy. They may be in our lives due to proximity, relations, connections through kids, work related or a variety of other reasons. Point being, you are tied to them regardless of whether you want to be or not. In these cases, I think social media is actually stopping us from disconnecting. It gives us a way to make those relationships work.

You need to communicate with this person for one reason or another, but a phone call would result in a lengthy conversation that will leave steam coming from your ears. So, you send an email.

Got a quick question that needs a simple answer and want to avoid listening to another story that will leave you feeling miserable about your life? Send a text. When they reply and want to start that conversation, no worries, tell them your busy at work  – then go back to resting comfortably on the couch. Situation avoided.

Prior to all this technology, we would have either had to suck it up and endure the torture, or we would have tried to disconnect and suffered through a strained  relationship becuase of it. Now, we can be cordial and polite but keep relationship at the level that it is meant to be at. No more pretending and no more weird awkwardness.

It allows me to be contacted, vent my frustration or exasperation privately, then turn around and respond in a supportive manner and end the conversation just as quickly as it started.  Noone is the wiser and it works for both parties involved. They are free to move on to find someone else who can “be there for them”, and I can go back to being there for people who really matter to me.

We stay connected because we have to, but now its in a positive way instead of creating drama and conflict with every interaction. For those reasons, I am thankful for texts, emails, facebook and twitter for stopping the disconnection.

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7 Responses to “How technology is actually preventing us from disconnecting.”

  1. Savvy Scot June 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Sometimes we have to remember that just because we know what is going on someones life through Facebook, that we don’t know them. I agree, that for some cases Facebook is great, but it can also be dangerous. If we want to keep ties, we still need to engage in conversation and stop being lazy! 🙂

    • myjampackedlife June 10, 2012 at 10:03 am #

      i agree, engage with those you want to keep ties. thanks for stopping by.

  2. seedebtrun June 1, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    i am addicted to technology, no bones about it.. i think a ton of people are.. when i walk into work, pretty much everybody has their face down, looking at their cell phone, instead of looking and smiling at each other. waiting room small talk has been replaced by words with friends. overall, i don’t think it is a good thing.

  3. AverageJoe May 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I totally agree. I love texting so I can quickly “be there” and then go do something more important.

    I only get depressed when I see four of us (our family) out at dinner and I’m on Twitter, my wife is checking her email and both of my kids are texting friends. “How was your day?” is now an interruption.

    • myjampackedlife May 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      Yes. That is one of the arguments for the flip side of the coin. There’s a time and place and it’s hard to detach and love in the present sometimes. I’ll be there one day and cursing it then I’m sure.

  4. Modest Money May 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    hahaha funny view on how social media and the internet can make social interactions better. Unfortunately those annoying people sometimes take your interactions the wrong way and assume you want to actually spend time with them because you contacted them.

    • myjampackedlife May 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      I know, but like i said, these are people I can’t disassociate from due to other circumstances unfortunately. As much as i wish i could cut all ties, i can’t. So this is the perfect solution for me.

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