With texting, tweeting, messaging, etc. all around us, it’s common practice to comment on every little moment of each day. He posts, she comments; she posts, he comments. They then turn grocery shopping into a series of photo-ops that you “like” and follow-up with a slideshow of the fast food checkout line you’re standing in.
True, the flipside is the instantaneous ability to share funny and profound moments. Nowadays, technology also provides a variety of free or low-cost ways to remain connected no matter where you reside in the world. That’s an incredibly heady thing. Yet, the price of constant ‘connection’ to the internet is that this is disconnecting people instead; in the process, people are losing many of the joys of social contact.
Loss of Real Conversations
With all of the awesomeness that results from having a smartphone constantly in hand, some of the better things in life have been lost, such as having things to talk about when you meet a friend in person. Especially at the start of social media (before many felt the need to self-regulate more) so much information was spewed out and digested that a chat at the pub stopped being what it once was. Yes, it’s terrific you nailed that interview and got the job, but after detailing the facts online, a personal chat will be nothing more than a rerun of the story. There’ll probably be more details to share, but the news is not new.
Loss of Romantic Anticipation
In terms of romance, not talking before a date is something that modern technology has squelched.
“What are u doing?”
“This will be fun, right?”
“Yeah. For sure!”
Whatever happened to the silent ritual of preparing for romance? Envisioning the perfect evening as different outfits are chosen and discarded, planning what you’ll say, etc. Those days, the anticipation and mystery of romance, are gone.
Loss of Privacy
In large part, privacy is a thing of the past. Not only have people become conditioned to share every little bit of their own lives, but few think anything of sharing insights into the lives of friends and family too. For instance, when your nephew does something silly and you snap a picture, that doesn’t mean he’ll want it broadcasted to the world at large, but you do it anyway. It’s become all too common practice for people to think their ideas about privacy are universal.
Loss of Imagination
And what ever happened to just sitting and daydreaming while walking, sitting on the train, standing in a line, or waiting in the car—few forgo the habit of checking emails, sending texts, or surfing the Web. For both creative and analytical types, “wool-gathering” is a very important component to generating new ideas. Yet, it’s rare for anyone to just let their mind wander.
Loss of ‘Living in the Moment’
There’s also something to be said for truly being in the moment. It takes conscious effort to put down the mobile or turn down the ringer and experience something with your whole being. Even at the dinner table, it’s quite common to see all parties checking cell phones while eating. Though it’s become a societal norm, divided attention is both rude and uncaring. Whether it’s meant to or not, it still says, “I’ve only got so much time and attention I can offer you.” It also robs people of the beauty of experiencing something with others who are right there in front of them.
Loss of Emotions
Conversations have changed, too. Without meaning to, people have become so accustomed to texting that many forget the limitations of such a medium. Yes, it’s a brilliant way to get quick messages across. However, it should never be used for conversations that could easily be misinterpreted. Texting doesn’t show emotion or make tonal voice changes which is why things can be misconstrued for the worse at times. Plus, some things, like breaking up or anything remotely serious, should still be said in person.
Texting, instant messaging, posts and chats are all remarkable breakthroughs in communication in technology. Though not all work equally well for every individual circumstance. Especially in these modern times, it’s not only still important to consider what to say, but how to say it as well. When in doubt, save the important talks for times when all parties can be physically present. It obviously doesn’t mean misunderstandings won’t occur, yet technology won’t be responsible for adding fuel to fire because one text was read differently than intended.