Technology and Connection: Virtual vs. Reality

     We can all agree that this recent explosion of technology is great when we think about how simple it is to do certain things. People use to go places to pay bills, but now with a click of a button you can pay bills through your phone, tablet, or computer. You rarely even have to press buttons, all you have to do is tell Siri what you need and she may be able to pay that bill for you. I went into the Vitamin Shoppe and got a couple of things from the store, and they told me that I can have those delivered every 30 days or however many days it takes the supplements to run out. I no longer need to wait in line for my Publix sub because I can order through the Publix application. These are just a few great things that this new technology has to offer.

     What about the not so good things that this technology has brought? Sherry Turkle suggests that it is great that we are connected, but we are also alone. When we wake up, what is the first thing we pick up? When we go to bed, what is the last thing we do? I’ll tell you, if you are anything like most people today, you are looking at your phone, or playing on your phone, or doing something on your phone before you go to bed and after you wake up. Remember when friends used to actually talk and pay attention to each other?  It seems like a thing of the past now. On multiple occasions I have witnessed a room full of people where pretty much everyone are completely ignoring everyone so that they can look at their phone.

     This is not an article in order to tell you that we are slaves to our technology and we need to open our eyes and wake up to this reality. Wait… That’s exactly what this is about actually. We are absolutely terrified to speak face-to-face with other human beings. Sherry Turkle gives a good example of this when she goes into talking about using our phones to remove us from places we don’t really want to be. She says we want control! We want control over where we put our attention, that is. This makes so much sense because people in our society want to control everything that happens in their life which is unrealistic. What she is saying is that we pay attention to things we want so that we have the control! For example, you want to go over your friend’s house so that you are not home alone and it looks like you’re being social. Your intentions are not to hang out with your friends, but instead your intentions are locked on the fact that you can be somewhere connecting with someone, but your phone gives you the power to control how much connecting you actually do. When there is a break in conversation, many people see it as an opportunity to escape and stick their faces into their phone. They are immediately taken to a world of virtual reality; connecting with people through the internet instead of communicating with the person that is on the couch with you!

     I am not anti-technology, but I am against what we have become as a society in how we communicate and allow technology to control us. I love my Iphone and all of the applications it brings, but it should not strip us of our ability to communicate with friends and family on a personal level. Before I go I will leave you with a quote, Albert Einstein said,

 

I fear the day that technology

will surpass our human interaction.

The world will have a generation of idiots”.

     Stay off your phone during social gatherings and tell your friends and family you love them. If no one tells you they love you, remember that I do! Stay woke my friends!

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