06 January 2018

Technologically Connected but Socially Isolated

A couple of months ago, I attended a conference, during which it was pointed out that our society has become more and more increasing social and connected. And because of that, the industry should keep up and tailor our ways to the social and connected crowd. This got me thinking about how we are very much technologically connected, yet ironically, somehow this all makes us so lonely and socially isolated.

See, I was alone in this conference, and being alone, it allows you to observe people around you. During breakfast in the hotel, I noticed plenty of people wearing power suits monotonously eating their food while swiping on their iPhones and Androids. During the conference coffee breaks, people would sip their coffee yet stand alone, browsing their phones again and checking their emails. And when I was dining in a restaurant, I saw the couple next to me, dining together, yet not really talking to each other, since both parties were just busy with their digital devices.

Somehow I find that sad.

I already felt how isolated we are, when I was still living in the United States. I remember thinking how wonderful it was to live in Europe, because everything is done alone in the USA. Say you go to a bank, you don't even interact with a person, just a machine, in order to get out your money. When you're in a supermarket, you can even do self check out. The opportunities to speak to another person goes less and less, even though we have smarter and smarter devices that allow us to constantly be connected, no matter where we are. So no matter where we are, we can post our photos of our vacations, our food, and post them on our social profiles so that we can get external validation from our "friends".

I worry about this issue sometimes. I am in my mid-thirties, and I wonder how life would be like ten years from now. How would we interact? How would we even talk to each other?

I deleted my Facebook profile almost 4 years ago, and so far I am enjoying the experience. I just wonder when would it be an inconvenience to not have a Facebook account. I hope not too soon.

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