We truly live in a global village these days. I don’t think that when the phrase was coined we realised how small this village would be. Social media and technology are big reasons for this and it plays an integral part of most of our daily lives. Strangers have access to our thoughts with the push of a button.
Technology is great as it allows us to connect with like-minded individuals; we share information, make friends and sometimes even meet partners. Technology also brought us the dawn of social media and this has grown and developed in leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Personally, I love it and embraced it completely. I have one huge problem with it however. Between the “like” button on Facebook and Instagram; and the “retweet” and “favourite” functions on Twitter, we’re basically teaching younger generations that validation by their peers and strangers are important. Is this not the opposite of what we try to instil in children in order to become confident and well rounded adults?
From a very young age we are taught that we need to be happy with ourselves first in order to be happy with anything else in life and being independent thinkers are paramount. These days the majority of people rely on outside validation. If people don’t get enough “favourites”, “retweets” or “likes”, it instils doubt in them, they start doubting whether they are good enough or whether others like them, when in fact both of these should not be determined by anyone else but themselves.
Technology may be great for information sharing and connecting with people but it’s also unravelling some skills needed for a healthy adulthood. The fact that no one needs to leave the comfort of their couches to catch up with friends is fantastic but it becomes a big problem when it’s the only form of communication ever used.
Instead of having confidence in their own decisions and thoughts, people depend on the validation of strangers. It is incredibly tragic when people waiver because not enough people liked what they had to say or the pictures that they posted on-line, even though they themselves do. I see people out with friends and instead of catching up and chatting; everyone is on their phones; hardly making eye contact. Even though they’re with friends and family, they’re still disengaged to everyone and everything around them.
We are raising a generation of disconnected people, a generation that hardly has any people skills and who relies more on the little world that they create in cyberspace than the real world around them. I fear that this and generations to come, will miss out on so many real life milestones and incredible experiences purely because they won’t ever have to venture out to seek it, they will reside within a virtual world. It’s already slowly happening. Einstein said “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” This day has arrived.
We think that technology and the internet broaden our horizons when in actual fact it shrinks our worlds, and we’re losing contact with the little things that create a great and well rounded life.
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