Staying connected seems to be the phrase of our generation. Whether it’s through text messaging, Myspace comments or Facebook chat, it is easier than ever to “stay connected.” With a click of a button you can communicate with family, long-distance friends, co-workers and boyfriends/girlfriends without any actual face to face contact with them (unless you’re on Skype, which is the closest to real life face to face contact with someone without actually being in the same room or city or state or country as them.)
I admit that I cannot live without social networks like Facebook, let alone without my cell phone… unless I want to commit social suicide. Sure, I guess this is a bit of an over-exaggeration but it’s not entirely untrue. I have gone weeks without a cell phone or internet access. But the last time I did lose my cell phone, I felt a bit naked when I went out. There was an empty space in my pants pocket and not to mention the inconvenience it caused not only with making plans with friends but with contacting my work and family.
Have we really reached the point as a society where our cell phones have become like a detachable body part and the internet has become our go to for all?
I like to think of myself as an independent girl but when it comes to technology I usually cannot be found without some sort of battery charged gadget.
All this impersonal contact with one another must be affecting the quality of our relationships and how we behave with others. But contrary to popular belief a study done by the Princeton Survey International found that technology users actually have larger social networks and more people to discuss important issues about than non-technology users. Social networks tend to be 25% larger for cell phone users than non cell phone users. Not only are their social circles bigger but they are just as likely to visit their neighbor or participate in community events.
We may have more friends by having our social networks and cell phones but the same technology that connects us with the world may be harming our real world relationships.
Sometimes we can sucked into what I like to call “The Digital Syndrome” and start to base our relationships off of technology. Although I love the fact that I can easily stay in contact with my friends I would also prefer hanging out with the people I care about over talking to them over the internet or phone any day. Every once in a while we should take a step back from our cell phones and computer screens and make sure we are really living our lives and not letting our technology live it for us.