Communication is a vital element of our daily lives. It is how we interact with other people. It allows us to express ourselves. Ultimately, it allows us to put out ourselves into the open world. Thanks to our seemingly more advanced technology, communication has been transformed and vastly contributes to the many ways of quenching our thirst of connecting with others.
When connection loses connection…
I have been one of the many people who doesn’t feel at ease every time he/she is not able to check his/her phone for notifications; be it SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, etc. My friends tell me that I “constantly” check my phone and forget that I am in the middle of a conversation. Some even joke around that I couldn’t keep my phone away for even just a few minutes. And they were right.
If I get bored, whenever and wherever I was, I check my phone. I open my applications to see what’s going on in the world. Sometimes, I open my phone just so I could do something. I frequently open my phone thinking that not doing so will leave me missing a lot of great stuff, news included. I sometimes find myself so involved in my phone and in other people’s lives that I ignore the people I’m with.
This habit changed when a close friend told me to try “social media cleansing”. She told me to stop using phone applications, especially social media applications, for as long as I could or wanted to. At first, I had second thoughts. The thought of not being able to communicate with my friends through Messenger came across my mind. It was, at the time, unimaginable. I didn’t think I could do it.
But I did it anyway. I logged out from all my accounts (especially social media sites) and deleted all my mobile social media applications. The only means of communication I had with other people was through e-mail or SMS / calls. It was a bit of a struggle as this was the first time I’m doing this.
Techonology, a blessing or a curse?
Technological advances introduced us to various platforms of communication. I have to admit that technology helped me widen my social network. It has helped me communicate with people I cannot reach (figuratively and literally). However, almost everything has its pros and cons.
Gone are the days when people have to set a meeting in order to have serious deep conversations. Today, people tend to use mobile applications and social media sites to converse with others. We no longer get the deep, meaningful conversations we crave because we are interacting with screens rather than actual people. We live in an era where we enjoy the unwanted benefits of anonymity. We enjoy hiding in our mobile or laptop screens. We enjoy receiving a superficial sense of admiration manifested by the number of likes, reactions, or favorites we get.
I believe technology has made communication easier. However, I think technology tends to drive us away from each other rather than bringing us closer together. When we display our lives on Facebook or any other social media site, people tend to like or offer reactions. And sometimes, even leave a comment. This doesn’t necessarily lead to a conversation. We feel that we know what’s going on in everyone’s lives from their posts that we forget to engage and ask about the details. Hence, we lose that deeper connection that was once easily made.
It is sad to see that we are slowly losing connection and communication with our friends and families because we see almost everything and communicate more readily through social media.
Disconnect to reconnect.
Let’s reconnect with the people we value. Instead of a simple like or comment on someone’s Facebook wall, let us compliment him/her face-to-face. Let’s begin enjoying meals with actual meaningful conversations and leaving our mobile phones unattended. Let us stop scrolling down our screens and pay attention to each other’s body language, emotions, and quirks. Because when we pay attention to these little things, they become big things that make our connections deeper.
Quality time with the people we love is important and simply there is no app for that. 🙂