We live in an age of booming technology, and it is getting more and more advanced. The world we live in is forever shaped by the Internet, accessibility, and modern communication methods. It is so ingrained in the planet as we know it that it is no longer possible to separate technology from life in any way. Still, we feel isolated in a whole new way.
Some generations are growing up now, never having known a world without smartphones. Screen time is a staple of everyday life, and that’s not really surprising. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices offer a wealth of information in a matter of seconds, long-distance communication and entertainment.
With these developments, new concerns have arisen around health, well-being and development. How much screen time is too much? And how much connectivity is excessive? How much can you share with the world before it gets dangerous? Ideally, mobile devices bring us closer together by connecting us all. But is that really the reality, or have we exaggerated it to the point that it is counterproductive?
These questions have complex answers, but many of them seem surprising. This greater access to the world is actually causing more and more people to be alone, although they can be connected to the whole world all the time. How is this possible and why?
Here are 4 ways too much screen time can make you feel isolated.
1. You can get addicted
The Internet is full of fun. There is no denying the hours of activities you can engage in from just one screen, and that really is something to marvel at. Unfortunately, that carries its fair share of the consequences.
Internet addiction is a relatively new area of research, given the relatively recent and rapid developments in accessibility and connectivity as a whole. Even so, it is enough for many people to have a good idea of what it is. positive and the negatives of his attachment to technology.
Addiction is a very isolating experience. There is a lot of stigma surrounding it as a concept, and it’s even worse for a newer form of addiction that is even less understood. It’s easy to dismiss any signs of addiction to a mobile device due to how common our dependence on such items is.
Unfortunately, gadgets and internet addiction are genuine problems. Like other forms of addiction, it can cause you to alienate loved ones and hurt those around you because of your obsession, isolating you even more.
Here are some signs of addiction to the Internet and also to mobile devices.
- Higher tolerance levels for mobile devices and Internet activities.
- Difficulty reducing or self-regulating mobile devices and Internet use.
- Constant concern or obsession with mobile devices and the internet.
- Reliance on mobile devices and the Internet to manage stress, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions.
- The existence of withdrawal symptoms when you are away from mobile devices and the Internet.
- Psychological dependence on mobile devices and the internet.
- Replacement of activities and / or regular relationships with activities related to mobile devices and the Internet, despite the knowledge of the negativity of such replacements.
But how does this type of addiction happen? It can seem a bit unnerving, given the way we often think about addiction.
Here is information on the development of Internet addiction and the screen.
- Certain things on the Internet give you a dopamine hit, triggering your reward system to associate the Internet with these brief feelings of happiness. This can happen from a ‘like’ on social media, playing a mobile game, or simply seeing people you relate to.
- The internet provides a certain sense of belonging, even to those struggling to make friends in real life. There is a community for almost anyone on the internet. With factors like anonymity, it’s easy to jump from one group of friends to another, introducing yourself however you want, to get the best responses.
- It is easy to build a fake person online. You can present only the best of yourself and then start to prefer that ornate version of yourself to who you really are. Since that “perfect” you does not exist outside of your mobile devices, it can be difficult to return to real life when you can’t live up to your own precedents.
2. You spend more time isolated
Ironically, being so connected to everyone all the time can end up isolating you even more. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but think about it: how often do you enjoy screen time with others? The answer is probably not as much as how often you participate in device activities at home on your own!
Here are some other reasons why you end up spending more time alone when you spend a lot of time in front of the screen:
- With the ability to speak to anyone in the world at your fingertips, you have less reason to go out and interact socially in person with others.
- Learn updates on other people’s lives through their social networks without having to communicate with them.
- You are more aware of the life of others, you constantly share it on social networks, so you know when they leave you out.
- You spend more time checking your phone, which has many options for things you can do, and therefore interacts less with the world around you.
Here are some interesting scientific findings about screen time, isolation, loneliness, and their effects:
- “People think of people: the vicious cycle of being a social outcast in one’s mind” in The Social Outcast: ostracism, social exclusion, rejection and harassment (2005). This part of a book on the social outcast looks at an interesting study in which a professional hypnotist hypnotized people to experience feelings of loneliness. That loneliness trigger was enough to directly lead to significant increases in depression symptoms and very drastic drops in positive thinking.
- “Loneliness Matters: A Theoretical and Empirical Review of Consequences and Mechanisms” in Annals of Behavioral Medicine (2013). Is to experience revealed that the stress hormone cortisol increases in production when you feel lonely. In fact, the stress levels of loneliness can be compared to receiving a direct physical threat!
- “IGen: Why Today’s Superconnected Children Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy, And Completely Unprepared For Adulthood And What That Means For The Rest Of Us” by Jean Twenge, Ph.D. (2017). This book talks in depth about the new generation of kids growing up with technology. That scientifically looks at how this generation feels lonelier than previous ones, despite their closer online connections. In 2015, the data collected indicated an increase of 27% and 48% in boys and girls, respectively, who felt excluded and excluded compared to 2010. The author’s peers appear to agree with these findings.
There is no real substitute for physical contact with someone in the real world. You cannot sharpen social skills, acquire appropriate social skills, or learn to behave. You also can’t pick up on a person’s gestures unless you’re spending time with someone in person.
The problem with interactions separated by a screen is how vastly different they are from real life experiences. Here are some ways that Internet communication can stunt you socially:
- Have time to think about your answers for several minutes or even hours before responding to someone
- You may feel emboldened and protected by the screen, allowing you to only feel comfortable speaking your mind online.
- Don’t get someone’s tone, body language, or facial expressions from online text-based communications, and emojis are extremely easy to interpret in comparison
Naturally, when you go into the real world and you don’t have the “easy mode” of socialization that comes with screens and social media to help you, you may waste time and get anxious. This is why it is important to make sure you continue to socialize in real life as well.
4. Increase materialism
Materialism is an incredibly isolating way of thinking. It reduces much of the world to mere monetary figures and values. In fact, it makes it more difficult to relate to people and situations. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time in front of a screen can make you more materialistic. Here are some reasons for this:
- You see, many people share their material items on social media in an attractive way, which can influence your thoughts.
- Brand ads are everywhere, on every website, often well integrated into the interface.
- You are more likely to have an individualistic view of the world through social media than a community-based one.
- Trends are common on the Internet, and many of them involve the purchase and display of material items that change from week to week.
- Not having what others have and not being able to bond with them can make you feel isolated or separate.
- It’s easy to think that the online community would accept it if it has material elements.
Materialism is on the rise and sadly not harmless, according to studies. Materialistic individuals often end up experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, fail to develop meaningful values, or feel empty and alone due to the inability to pay for these material things.
It’s really ironic to think that something designed to bring people together can separate us all even more. Yet despite the rather poetic drama of it all, there is no denying that screen time is a convenient way to get busy, keep up with the news, and stay in touch with distant friends and family.
So how do you strike a balance between being social and being isolated? How can you continue using your screens without leading to loneliness? How can The answer, as always, lies in moderation. Make sure that screens don’t replace actual meetings with friends. Limit your viewing of the most toxic aspects of social media. Be realistic about the things you see online.
If you are having difficulty balancing your screen time, you may want to speak with a relevant therapist or medical professional. deal with mental health. This is especially true if you think you may be battling a social media or internet addiction. If you really need it, don’t be afraid to ditch social media and use your phone for non-social forms of entertainment. That way, you can have fun in front of the screen and have more excuses to meet your loved ones in person.