Technology and the Human Connection

I often think about how my life today compares with my life in the past as it pertains to the technological differences. For example, if I could go back 10 years and show myself my iPhone, it would blow my 10 years ago mind. Lately I’ve been thinking about how social media has changed my life.

I’ve had many discussions and probably written about it here before as well. While I think there are 2 sides to every issues and I can certainly see the negatives that come with it, overall I am extremely pro social media. Facebook has allowed me to stay in touch with people and foster friends and relationships that probably never would have happened otherwise. More than that, I realized that it just makes me feel “connected” to other people and the world at large so much more. We can all participate in conversations that as we have the time and will that we might not be able to otherwise. It is certainly not a substitute for real human contact, but I know most of us just don’t have the time to meet up with, or even call and catch up with all the people we would like to. I can’t sit down one Saturday afternoon and call my 20 closest friends, but we can all converse at will online and carry on conversations over the day or days as we have time.

I’ve particularly appreciated this during difficult times. It’s strange remembering that there was once a time that I didn’t have this luxury of constant connection. The only connection I had was if I called someone on a land line and then maybe arranged to see them. Apart from that, I was alone with whatever I might be going through at the time. That seems so incomprehensible to me now. Just the thought makes me feel so cut off and isolated. I fire up The internet, Facebook, whatever and I instantly feel at least a tiny bit better. At least a nano-increment more in touch with the world and people and energy of the universe.

Of course I also wonder if this constant connection also makes us not make real and in person connections as much. Do we sometimes allow it to be substitute? Would we maybe see people more or take a friendship to the next more real, in person level if we didn’t have the luxury of this constant virtual connection?

Like anything, I think it can be used for good or bad. It is a tool for you to use as you see fit and you must be vigilant to see how it’s affecting you and how you are using it.

It’s great that my life is full of so many amazing people. It’s a shame that the vast majority of those relationships are fairly shallow with only the most tenuous of connections.

4 Responses

  1. P_Micki_K says:

    So much to say, I may have to break it up into a few comments so it doesn’t become a blog of its own.

    First off is the idea that occurred to me today (which is sort of off the topic you bring up but related), as I dug into some Tolle and specifically sought solitude: do we use the social technology because it parades in a mask that seems like the collective unconscious? (High falootin thinkin, goin on right here.) I mean, it is like hive mind. And we comment and we like and we buzz around our friends & acquaintances as if this *were* the connection- not only to one another, but also to the Divine. A false god? A meditation?

  2. P_Micki_K says:

    Tolle talks about tv & movies pulling us out of the present moment, like a drug to deactivate and I think internet generally could fall into the same category. But as tribal people or ancient civilizations used to also find ways to decompress- by telling stories or gazing into a fire- I don’t necessarily think it is an evil unto itself. It comes down to how we use it.

  3. P_Micki_K says:

    As we no longer live in tribes or tight, dependent communities (mostly), an often live far from our families and friends, it is a quick way to keep connecting to people. It is a way to make our voices heard. It is especially useful and important for people that are invalids or new parents that may not have the time & energy, and they feel disconnected or confined- anyone that feels alone.

  4. P_Micki_K says:

    As previously stated, I think it all comes down to how we use it. Here I’ll be frank and a bit personal: I and others of your friends have noticed that you sometimes choose to connect to technology when real people are present in your company. You are certainly not the only person I know that does this but it can be disconcerting.

    I’m glad that we all have this option, though. Especially when times are tough.

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