Is the picture above familiar to you? I am sure this is a scenario which is very common. Everyone has done it before, especially when the conversation has died down or an uncomfortable situation arises. We turn to our cell phones to ease boredom or social discomfort. Although considered as rude at one point, it has now been generally accepted as the social norm.
Our cell phones provide us with an endless stream of "digital noise" as millions post on social media websites globally. Last year, the social media platform Twitter reported over 200 billion tweets and Instagram now has over 500 million active users. The integration of technology into our lives was a seamless process but at the same time problems have began to surface from this phenomenon.
Have we become so dependant on technology that we neglected the importance of face to face interaction? Ironically, the more we connect with the world, the less we connect with each other. It is not a stretch to say that plenty of people prefer to keep in touch through social media rather than meeting up in the real world, even when it is convenient to do so. During a social gathering, there are also bound to be a few individuals who stay “glued” to their phones instead of engaging in a conversation with the person right next to them.
“There is so much interaction with the rest of the world that we lose sight of each other.”
The companionship of a phone brings a sense of comfort to people in knowing they are never actually truly alone. As they engage with other individuals on cyberspace, they become part of a bigger community and the world does not seem as lonely as before. But does it truly surpass the warm hug of a friend, eye contact with a person across from you, or any other physical interaction? By connecting to the rest of the world, are we somehow losing sight of our closest family and friends? Or has technology transcended the need of a face to face interaction? These are tough questions which are worth thinking about.