Is technology actually making American society more anti-social?

Technology is supposed to make society more connected. We can constantly stay in touch with our smartphones in the palm of our hands through texting, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and many other outlets.

But is talking face-to-face becoming ancient history thanks to this technology?

Social media has become a primary form of communication. Yet, as we become more socially connected with the rest of the world, we are becoming more disconnected from the world around us.

It’s easier and more convenient to just look someone up on Facebook or Instagram than physically stay in touch with them. Social media has replaced this need to catch up with old friends because their entire life stories are literally posted in front of our faces.

The British Broadcasting Corporation conducted an anti-social experiment with students from Tarporley High School in which they agreed to give up all social media for a week.

The report showed that out of the 1,000 students who started the digital detox, around a quarter admitted to giving up.

“The thought of having real conversations and maybe even reading a book seems to be way too much to handle,” one teacher said. “Many hands are raised when asked who uses games but pretty much everyone seems to use social media on a day to day basis.”

Consumer News and Business Channel and The New York Times have also done similar studies..

Actress Charlene deGuzman created and starred in a YouTube video, “I Forgot My Iphone.”

The two-minute video, which has been viewed more than 15 million times, follows deGuzman through a normal day. people ignored her as they stare at their phones during lunch, at a concert, while bowling and even at a birthday party. The clip ends with deGuzman in bed with her boyfriend staring at his phone.

deGuzman’s video makes for some eye-opening controversy.

It’s a direct hit on our smartphone-obsessed culture, suggesting that technology is creating a lack of social interactions in people’s daily lives.

And deGuzman is absolutely right.  

“I came up with the idea for the video when I started to realize how ridiculous we are all being, myself included, when I was at a concert and people around me were recording the show with their phones, not actually watching the concert,” deGuzman said in an interview.

Our technology today has made it easy to pull ourselves away from interpersonal and face-to-face communication as we rely on our smartphones to do most of our talking.

So next time you’re hanging out with friends, out to lunch or at the dinner table, put your phone down and focus on the people around you instead of your Facebook and Twitter followers.

by Stevie Lowman

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