Imagine this – you are out with someone you are genuinely interested in. You go to a quaint little café, talk about yourself, your dreams, aspirations, plans, shared interests, crack lame jokes, suggest movies or books and essentially have fun getting to know each other.
It is such an enriching experience when you feel the vibe and that connection of communication. Does all this sound foreign to you? Well that is how dating used to be before technology took over.
Interacting is limited to emojis on social media and knowing someone is unanimous to reading their bios. We are always on our phones living in a virtual haze that stops us from having unique experiences.
An article by Mandy Oaklander quotes a research published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, that states “people who were more dependent on their smartphones reported being less certain about their partnerships.” Is technology slowly replacing our need for healthy relationships? The answer is bitter but true – yes it is.
More often than not, we are leading double lives on social media and often forget to feel comfortable in our own skins. We are mesmerized by the glossy and fun lives of other people not realizing that they too fiercely filter out their humane sides, their flaws and failures to leave what is the best in them.
We wear masks and expect finding true love on these platforms. Have you ever seen someone being completely honest about their goofy selves? Can you really know someone only through chatting? Isn’t it difficult to date once you’ve already made up your find about someone by stalking them on social media?
A school in California thought of having locked phone pouches for students, so that they could focus on learning things in class and not waste time playing games. Sure, recreation is important but it shouldn’t interfere with your academic experience.
Concert organizers often ask people to leave their phones at home or switch it off because most of them go for second hand experience of documenting things for social media instead of really feeling the music. It is the same for art exhibitions where people take more pictures than appreciate what is in front of them. Certain cafes have also stopped providing WiFi services in the hope that people will socialize more often.
Human beings are social creatures but over the time have resorted to living in isolation, avoiding human contact. It is just that our lives have become busier and most of our jobs involve staring at a screen, it becomes the “natural” thing to do. We need to stop living in a box and live in the moment.
The sights and sounds of the world won’t ever be found in a phone! One would think that the world has become smaller as you can communicate with just a click, however studies show that the contact lists become bigger whereas the real contacts shrink for the lack of engagement.
Say you meet someone, yet most of the time you are distracted with your phone. You would definitely miss out on things they would say or notice their toxic traits or even something that you might genuinely like. You just refrain from finding one of the most beautiful things in the world, a true bond. Even if you are with someone and there is some small disagreement, what do you do?
You remove your profile picture, post angry or upset statuses, delete their pictures – does any of this help to solve the problem in real life? No, it adds fuel to the fire. Technology stops you from dealing with your problems hands on, you chicken out and leave a text because you are anxious about their reaction or think about resolving a fight over the phone. Let this be known- nothing can replace meaningful interactions.
Not all experiences will be amazing, and you might meet someone who looks interesting on social media but are pretty dull in real life, but on the flip side you know it before it is too late. It can be so that someone is not active on social media but have interesting lives and you’d miss out on all that because of your favor for the social media.
You may also get to see a multitude of layers in a person if you spend time off the phone for a while. So step out and live it up!
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