IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING US ANTI-SOCIAL?
One of our week 2 tasks was to take a quick quiz about whether or not technology is making us antisocial. This was a true or false question: I answered yes, which was the wrong answer. I reflected upon this quiz for quite some time, however, I still strongly disagree that it is not making us anti-social.
Yes, technology is providing a multitude of ways for people to virtually socialise, but I believe it is robbing our society of the art and desire of communicating face to face. I personally believe that to be social you need to be around real live people and interact with them and to not text them from a distance, or in many cases in the same room. People struggle even to be interactive even when we are around people as a lot of the time we are on our phones!
I found a though provoking YouTube video “Look Up From Anti-social Social Network” which encourages you to be present in the moment.
Maderson Whittaker, a felloew EDC3100 blogger shared some other statistics and issues that have risen since technology has taken off and links to some useful resources for reflection.
What does research indicate?
An online article from Daily Mail Australia presented their research findings from earlier this year from psychologists who analysed the phone and web habits of 1000 people. Their research discovered the following:
- Tech makes 1 in 10 people into anti-social, distracted narcissists;
- A new technology related disorder dubbed NetBrain, also known as iDisorder, which affects 11% – or 5.7 million adults
- Sufferers show increased levels of narcissism, poor attention span and fear of missing out (FOMO);
- People who are classed as passionate and uninhibited are three times more likely to become addicted to technology than others; and
- People who score high for NetBrain are nearly four times more likely to exhibit anti-social behaviour
The full newspaper article continues to delve deeper into the issues related with tech addiction and provides further statistics.
However, I do recognise that technology has enabled people to connect and meet new people from all parts of the world. The internet enables people to connect to a world that they may not be able to physically navigate.
I guess with all great things, it is the matter of having a balance. Dr Catriona Morrison, an experimental psychologist who studied the link between depression and internet addiction, stated, “While it’s nice to be in touch with your cousin in England over Facebook, that can’t replace a more intimate face-to-face relationship… you need to balance this with relationships within the community you are actually living in”.