Inflicted isolation

I’m worried our generation is socially inept. Easy access to the Internet through our phones and computers have made us a globally connected species. We communicate and share information faster and in greater quantities than ever before, but human-to-human communication has suffered.

If you don’t use it, you lose it, and we’ve lost our social literacy.

I walk around with headphones on, constantly checking my phone for news and notifications. I’m guilty of disengaging from real society, as are many of my peers.

This disconnection is intrinsically linked to our easy access to technology. With a phone in your hand and unlimited data on, why talk to the person beside you in line or your neighbour as you wait for class to start?

In addition, this behaviour inadvertently sends out a message that you don’t want to talk. You’re walking around in a self-created bubble, where you could go about your daily routine without really interacting with anyone and sometimes not even realizing it.

When I want to watch a new movie, I don’t go to the cinema; I watch it in my room on my computer, alone. It’s cheaper and easier that way.

When I want to buy clothes, I don’t have to go to the mall. With internet shopping, I can shop without leaving the house; it’s even delivered to my front door.

Things we used to experience communally have become individual. It’s a question of experiencing things internally versus externally. Increasingly, we exist in our own heads.

But we’re social animals — we’re not meant to be alone. A lot of the enjoyment we get in life is experiencing things in groups.

I miss those little human interactions with strangers that make up a day. I miss them because it’s human nature to want to interact. Growing up, I didn’t have a phone to constantly check or the Internet as a distraction. Interacting with others was a necessity.

That’s why I’ll be reminding myself to take my headphones off, check my phone less and actually interact with my peers. I think it will make me a happier, more engaged person.

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