According to HootSuite, there are:
- 3.77 billion global internet users
- 2.80 billion global social media users
- 4.92 billion mobile users
- 2.56 billion global mobile social media users
Technology is changing the world in which we live in and continues to do so at such a rapid rate. We are in control of what and how we choose to digest the information available to us with a few clicks and swipes. However, we are finding that the very thing intended to connect us as a human beings prevents us from actually being and it is deeply affecting our relationship with others.
Take these for examples:
- Two people decide to go on a date. They are nervous and excited, but just in case things don't go as planned; they have their phones there to fill the time and awkward silences. Taking pictures of the food with different angles? Check. Updating status? Check. Checking into the location and briefly commenting on the location? Check.
- A group of people decide to take a selfie (or a hundred), forgetting that members of the public now have to manoeuvre around the human boulder that has inconveniently stationed itself in the busy pedestrian.
- Tweeting is a must or how else is the world going to know what you had for breakfast, dinner and lunch?
- Or have you had those moments where you promise yourself that you were just going to like one picture, but then you find yourself spending an hour or two scrolling and liking through so many profiles, constantly comparing your life to those who seem to have it all together?
It is clear that our 'busyness' online is resulting in the lack of connectivity offline and the handy device glued to our hands every minute of the day will not make up for that. Through social media we can connect with others efficiently but when we start to substitute this for physical interaction that is when it becomes detrimental. Have you ever found yourself in a position where you know so much about another person through their pictures and post and find yourself relaying that information to them, however, you haven't physically interacted with them? It seems odd, right?
Being overly connected online has proven to cause psychological issues such as depression, the need for instant gratification, distraction and narcissism. We can't deny technological advancement will continue to advance, so how we can find a healthy balance both online and offline? We can put all energy in improving our online persona or we can discover ourselves through our interaction with others, being present in those moments and accepting that we cannot control everything.