Is technology good for our social lives?

A great deal of people believe that technology in our social lives has consolidated us, that it has made it effortless to connect to peers and family — close or distant. I anticipate that as we delve deeper into a tech-savvy society people will start seeing the real implication of having a screen in front of our face instead of our relations. Now what I feel to be true about using phones and computers, is that it does bring those we want closer to us — always in our reach. However, being in reach doesn’t necessarily mean in heart. What I mean by in heart is that there is no meaning or purpose behind it. It becomes so easy to just be in constant communication with whomever you want that it’s very simple to loose sight of what matters. It takes away the moments that would otherwise be memorable, such as seeing each other in person. Just think to yourself: What did you text your best friend one week ago? What were you taking about? Now picture the last time you had a friend over, or a friend that came over a week ago or so, what did you do and talk about? You see, its easier to remember the moments that are more intimate, personal, and profound. Unfortunately, texting takes away from the beauty of a moment when you’re with the same person you text as you have become so accustomed to just being able to be with that person when you want, just as I have said, not in heart.

Now I want to move away from texting and the like, and move to a bone of contention: social media. “Social Media.” Those two words have somewhat brought up cause célèbre the past couple of years, especially in high schools across the country. The reason for this is that there is this false sense of safety when using social media as a form of hanging out (so to speak). The reason I say that is because, for example, on Facebook or Twitter you have all of your friends all in one locale even though people are spread all over the place. This virtual hang out is both a wonderful thing and also a bad thing. We all know the perks of using social media and the good things that it can do. But I want to talk about the fact that nowadays with so many people in one venue online, it becomes easy to bring with it the opportunity for you to see into other peoples lives. People you wouldn’t necessarily consort with in person. To an extent this is permissible, but it can be detrimental to your ego if you are not watchful. The reason its unhealthy is because by seeing all of these people and their lives, it becomes easy to get the impression that you have been left behind or that you need to validate yourself. The need to validate yourself is important, but it can’t be done by anyone else. It needs to be done by you, that is the only way. Nowadays so many people post events or accomplishments in their life online, and when you get right down to it, the sole purpose of doing that is to parade their life; to also know that people can see what they do, in hopes that they will recognize or affirm the validity or worth of themselves and to feel valued or worthwhile. The reason this is the worst possible state a person could put themselves in is because it will destroy your ability to do so on your own. Everyone needs validation, but you must be able to do it yourself as to never allow your happiness to be in someone else’s hands.

For a précis of this article, it is important to understand that the benefits of technology in our social lives in my opinion, far outweigh the disadvantages. But the point of all this was to realize the dangers of technology in these situations, and to eliminate the urge to constantly be talking with someone or a whole bunch of people. Or the urge to post the picture of your new car online, to make a status about your paycheck, or to ostentatiously share pictures of an over the top vacation. Its important that you know the difference between showing off your life and one that embraces your love for it. If you keep that in mind while posting online, as long as you do it for your love of what you have and not for the need to show off and feel validated then you can give yourself a pass to feel fully secure.