Technology: Friend or Foe?

These days we are more like cyborgs than humans. Cyborgs in the sense that we are carrying with us technology that can indirectly enhance our senses.

Below are some of the things I have been guilty of:

  • We find ourselves checking our phones all the time for the fear of missing out on what’s happening around us.
  • We sit at the table with others but we aren’t really there because we are checking social media.
  • We text each other even though we sit by each other.
  • We post our struggles in the hopes that someone can relate to us and offer encouragement.
  • We post our wins to brag and makes us feel better about ourselves.
  • We think we are so “connected” that we start believing everything we read on the Internet.

It begs the question: Are we using technology or is technology using us?

Here are two things I forced myself to think about.

1 – I’m so connected that it disconnects

Technology has opened the lines of communication in so many ways that we can be talking to someone miles away. It’s a medium that has allows us to find others that think like us, do what we do, and believe what we believe in the fastest way possible. Ironically, it has also allowed us to miss what’s in front of us.

  • We find people frozen in the middle of the road or sidewalk looking at the screen.
  • We wonder why no one has replied to our post or tweet even though the person in front of us is sharing his struggles and asking for help.
  • We find ourselves giving more time to our social media persona than the life we live daily.

2 -There’s no substitute for personal interaction

Have you found yourself constantly checking social media in the hopes that someone relates to what you are experiencing? I have.

I found myself checking for the number of views on my blog, the number of likes on a Facebook post, how many people would reply to one of my tweets, etc. All in the hopes of feeling that someone cared about what I had to say and “who I am.” And while there was a nice feeling when someone acknowledged what I shared, I noticed it was short lived.

The fact is there’s no replacement for the feeling I experience when someone is by my side reacting to what I say or do. Their nonverbal cues, the human touch, the energy in the room, the expressions of admiration, compassion, happiness, or sadness, the entire experience is a long lasting memory. A memory that’s more powerful than someone pressing the “Like” button.

The message?
Pay attention to the silent influence of technology. Technology is meant to be a tool to help us live our purpose; not to rule the way we live it.

 

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