Keeping connected

Texting imageI’ll be one of the first people to admit that I love technology. The smart phones people carry with them are full of tools that make everyday life a little bit easier. You have the ability to send a message or talk to friends and family at your fingertips. Also, you can check email, or access the internet while you are on the go. Through social media you can stay connected to friends and family all over the world, as well as re-establish connections with people you haven’t talked to in years. I use a video chat program to communicate with people on the other side of the world on a regular basis. Through the internet, you can learn about just about anything you want, just by doing a simple search, and more than likely, somebody has created a tutorial video walking you through it step-by-step.

As awesome as technology is, it does have negative impacts on society. I previously posted something on my blog about how texting has impacted the way people spell. Almost daily, I avoid accidents as I drive to and from work that would have been caused by people too distracted by their cell phones to care that they almost sideswiped me. I increasingly see people too entranced by their phones to even acknowledge the people around them. It’s beyond my understanding when I see someone meets with friends for dinner, but then when they get the restaurant, instead of talking, all of them are too busy reading messages on their phones – barely looking up to even give their orders to the restaurant’s wait staff.

I find it disheartening that the technology that can link people across the globe, also has the ability to distance us from those that are in the same room from us. The fact that this is happening is not the most disturbing part. The thing that bothers me the most, is that the majority of people are oblivious that it is happening. People are too busy checking their messages or browsing the internet to even notice they are barely communicating with the people they see on a daily basis. People are too distracted by hand held technology, to talk with bank tellers, cashiers, waiters, and other people that are trying to serve them. Instead of

I can admit to being sucked into the technological trance myself, but I also like to disconnect from the tethers that binds us to our gadgets at times. Even a little break from it, allows me to reconnect with the world around me; to genuinely enjoy the people and things around me. It would be beneficial to each of us as individuals and to society as a whole, if we all took a little bit of time away from the technology that captivates so much of our attention and instead, focus on nurturing relationships with those around us. The “human” connection we all need, is being neglected more and more often due to our emersion into technology.

Today’s technology is a great tool for allowing us to keep in touch with friends and family across the globe, but we must not allow the same technology to hamper the relationships we have with those around us. Put the cell phone away when possible, and allow yourself to become better connected to the world around you; better yet, leave your cell phone at home for a day or two. I have found being away from technology for a while to be a liberating experience. Instead of checking my messages, email, or social media  while I was waiting for food at a restaurant, I found myself starting conversation with whoever was around me. While cell phone technology is a convenient way to communicate, it will never be able to replace the experience of speaking with people face to face – it is next to impossible to develop that kind of a personal connection any other way.

This is not a topic that I give much thought to in my everyday life, but I probably should take more time to ponder  on it. The link below is what prompted me to write this post. It was shared on Facebook by one of my friends, but originally found on Distractify:

Restaurant Watches Old Surveillance and Shares Shocking Results On Craigslist