Ah, technology. WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and any other social media or communication tool you can think of – they’re all said to be creating a distance between people. They say this generation has lost touch on human interaction because we’re always on our phones – at restaurants, on trains, at a party. What they fail to see is what’s beyond the phone.
Now if you’ve read articles countering the same argument, you might be thinking that I’m referring to the fact that we’re technically still communicating through our phones. I’m sure that’s true, but that’s not my point here. When I say beyond the phone, I mean the person behind it – you. Let’s stop pretending that technology is the reason people don’t talk to each other anymore, but more than that, let’s stop pretending that every person who uses technology while in a social situation is anti-social.
In fact, let’s talk about how technology essentially helps. If someone with social anxiety is stuck in a room with people they don’t know, evidently, they are going to start using their phone. Not because they’re trying to be anti-social, not because they’re obsessed with their phones, but because their social anxiety makes it physically and mentally impossible for them to strike a conversation with the people in the room. And if technology, in the form of a small device helps them achieve a little bit of solace in that situation, is that really so bad?
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, or if you’re studying overseas in a world with no technology, how would you keep in touch with your boyfriend, girlfriend or family? Would you make international calls every day? Wouldn’t it be so much better if you had means to do it cost-free?
We talk so much about technology being the root of “anti-social” behaviour that we forget all the good that it does. We share videos and memes talking about about how technology is “bad” for you through technology itself. I mean, we use technology to counter itself.
These videos and memes often claim that people don’t talk on the phone anymore, instilling guilt in people like me, an introvert, who would rather send a message than talk on the phone. The worse part is, people are so quick to dismiss you as anti-social than look at the bigger picture; that introverts prefer not to talk on the phone simply because we need time to mentally prepare ourselves for a conversation.
But if you’re someone who has a choice, and you still choose to look at your phone during a dinner rather than talk to the person in front you, then my friend, the problem is you. So let’s stop calling technology this all-consuming root of evil – alright, maybe that’s a little far-fetched, but you get my point. Technology is helping people more than you think. If you don’t think it’s helping you, then instead of criticising something that is merely a commodity, it’s perhaps time you reflected on something you can – yourself.