Connection and disconnection: Alone with our phones

Our lives are run by technology. Yes but, what’s new?

Digital detox or digital cleanse are trendy expressions in 2016. It is clear that the amount of information we receive on a daily basis is too much to process, our attention spams are extremely short and I can’t remember the last time I read an article to the end. We communicate constantly with each other, through interactions such as “likes”, double-taps, emails, shared articles or mood emojis. But are you really connected to the human being on the other side of his screen?

The need to spend time being ‘disconnected’ points out flaws in our society, we should feel more connected through technology but instead can feel isolated, secluded or judged by the online community. People focus on their online presence and how it’s perceived by others over developing real connections. “Op-eds, magazine articles, news programs, and everyday discussion frames logging off as reclaiming real social interaction with your real self and other real people.” (Jurgenson 2013).

We have integrated facets of our tangible, material life to be accessible through technology, which makes a complete digital detox hard to achieve. For example, would you know where to find a Melbourne tram timetable if it wasn’t for the app? You would probably have to walk down to the nearest stop, check the timesheet -considering you’re lucky enough to have a timesheet at your stop- and hope that it’s been updated from the 2013 version.

From one extreme to the other, finding your balance is key. In my personal life I need to keep certain moments sacred and therefore, disconnected. For example, dinner time with the family or the 15 minutes before going to sleep. It’s up to each of us to manage our intake of information and try to diminish the time spent on our devices. Consciously taking breaks from the technology to spend time with people or better yet focusing on ourselves.