Alone Together: How Technology Disconnects People

It is hard to imagine our life without the Internet. Even during earthquakes, the first thing that people would probably do is writing Facebook posts. Nowadays, people are dependent on the Internet. Technology has overcome barriers such as distances, time zones, and countries. Therefore, whenever we want to talk to our friends or want to look for the latest news, all we have to do is to turn on the WIFI. With all the convenience that the Internet brings us, people would be extremely anxious when they are disconnected. After 36 hours of disconnection, the biggest impact on me is the experience of worrying about how others think about me.

During the disconnect period, I was anxious thus overthought under various circumstances. For instance, I used to watch YouTube videos at restaurants whenever I eat alone. However, eating alone without a WIFI connection makes me insecure since I do not know what to do while waiting. What’s more, I thought people would make assumptions about me having no friends only because I am eating alone. Another example is that I used to check my phone compulsively for fear of missing any social updates among friends. Also, I often post pictures online to make my life appearing to be more interesting because people tend to judge others based on what they posted on their social media. I am afraid that my friends would consider my life is boring when I do not post anything on Instagram.

In Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together, she mentioned that young generations are growing up with technology, and technology has made it easier for them to connect with their friends and family. However, according to people she interviewed, they prefer sending texts and emails rather than having face-to-face conversations. This phenomenon is prevalent in modern society. Whenever I am bored, I rely on my phone to avoid loneliness. I am either sending texts or watching videos and henceforth unconsciously shut the world down and refuse face-to-face conversations. For example, when taking an elevator, I will take out my phone to avoid conversations or eye contacts with others. In the long run, I feel like losing the ability to communicate with each other in person.

In conclusion, I should not care too much about what others think because everyone is busy with their things. People do not care about who is watching the movie alone because most of them are focusing on film. After being disconnected for a while, I believe I should not spend too much time on social media because people only show the part that they want to show. We should invest our time in things worth pursuing other than the numbers of followers and likes we receive. 

09 March 2021
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