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Why Is Technology Making Me Feel Even More Alone?

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  • Why Is Technology Making Me Feel Even More Alone?

    Have you ever noticed that all the technology you use to stay constantly connected sometimes ends up actually making you feel more alone? Tell me about it!

    In this article, I've shared my personal story of how technology like social media impacts my daily life, parenting, relationships, and overall feelings of loneliness.

    Read the article here:

    http://www.womens-health.com/does-te...-us-more-alone

    Editor’s Note: This forum post is part of our ongoing series The Roots Of Loneliness Project: Unearthing Why We Feel Alone, the first-of-its-kind directory that comprehensively explores the phenomenon of loneliness and 80+ types that we might experience over the course of our lives.

    Click the link to find resources and information on virtually any form of loneliness you may be personally experiencing.
    Last edited by Ashlee T.; 04-20-2020, 07:44 AM.

  • No, I have not found that. In fact, I've found more connected to the world! I don't have FOMO. OK, sometimes, but I have great friendships online and feel positive about social media. Technology is a plus for me: I could not live without social media. There is so much to discover and do online.

    BUT I am sure there are many people who do feel differently. The online world can be aggressive and nasty: just as in real life. I am not naive. I would advise anyone exercise caution about what they share online. Basically, if you wouldn't share it IRL then don't put it on Twitter. Don't agree to meet up with anyone unless it's under the guidance of a serious business and in a public place. Don't share ANY personal details. If you've got a headache, sure: but not that your uncle beat you senseless one day. Only mention such things on the appropriate website. Be very, very careful.

    Social media is wonderful, but it has its dangers, such as IRL. Exercise caution.

    Comment


    • Thanks for your comment Popcorn&Candy. I agree - social media can be wonderful and I would never suggest that we could or should live without the internet and devices like phones and laptops. But I worry that our obsession is replacing our human-to-human connections and experiences and is making some people, including myself, lonely. Thanks for reading and thanks for the tips and advice.

      Comment


      • You've got a point Helen T: a computer/device/the Internet should never replace human-to-human contact. Real life interactions are vital to our mental health and general health. Of course technology should never replace real life. I do agree sometimes we have to turn off our computer and go out to socialize and work. We came from the apes and have evolved to interact and have real relationships.

        I do this by NOT spending all day on my computer. I always make sure to help with dinner at the house every night. I also go out with family and friends. I would never use a computer when my friend stays the night: I won't even go on Facebook. When you're with friends, it is important to NOT use the computer. Doing so is incredibly rude. Common sense, I call this. Plus, respect.

        Because if you're entertaining people, sitting on your phone, too, is unacceptable. I only use my computer when alone and certainly NOT all day.

        Comment


        • I definitely think that technology can make us feel more alone, especially when online or virtual relationships have completely taken the place of face-to-face, in-person contact with others.

          For some, virtual contact is the most that can be managed — something that many of us can relate to right now because of mandatory social distancing. For a person who is homebound for health reasons or other reasons, technology at least affords them an opportunity to connect with others in SOME way, which is better than no contact at all.

          But for people who begin to shy away from in-person contact because virtual contact is “easier” somehow, I do worry that technology can exacerbate a person’s struggle with loneliness.

          This can be made worse by seeing people who are living their “best lives” on social media, showing momentary glimpses of a life viewed through the rosy lens of an Instagram filter. It’s not necessarily indicative of what their life is really like, but to the casual observer, it looks perfect — and the viewer can’t help but measure their own in comparison.

          Comment


          • Oh man, I could write so much about this...

            I never was a fan of social media and try to stay away from most of it -- aside helpful ones like LinkedIn which is by far to me the most useful and pertinent.

            It never fails that when I have logged onto Facebook or Instagram, feelings of FOMO, anxiety or general unease start to creep in as I see people posting about all sorts of stuff, amazing vacations I'm not taking, vistas I've not seen, and great looking people that I wish that I knew!

            Ultimately, it leaves me feeling more empty and lonely than had I just kept my head down, texted with my friends and family, and done the things that leave me --- and spending time with the people that make me feel -- happy.

            Don't get me wrong, I get why folks use IG et al -- sometimes it can be very inspiring to see and hear other's stories, journies and advice, as well as for learning, technology, art, food, etc -- I have just realized that it doesn't really work for me and by the time I look up from my phone, endless time has passed that I should have been doing other more productive things -- which leads to a whole another set of guilt and anxiety!

            Comment




            • not on FB, Instagram, or other such social media


              my cell for emergency only & only husband has no.
              text button broke so no texting for me, lol

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JonnyR View Post
                Oh man, I could write so much about this...

                I never was a fan of social media and try to stay away from most of it -- aside helpful ones like LinkedIn which is by far to me the most useful and pertinent.

                It never fails that when I have logged onto Facebook or Instagram, feelings of FOMO, anxiety or general unease start to creep in as I see people posting about all sorts of stuff, amazing vacations I'm not taking, vistas I've not seen, and great looking people that I wish that I knew!

                Ultimately, it leaves me feeling more empty and lonely than had I just kept my head down, texted with my friends and family, and done the things that leave me --- and spending time with the people that make me feel -- happy.

                Don't get me wrong, I get why folks use IG et al -- sometimes it can be very inspiring to see and hear other's stories, journies and advice, as well as for learning, technology, art, food, etc -- I have just realized that it doesn't really work for me and by the time I look up from my phone, endless time has passed that I should have been doing other more productive things -- which leads to a whole another set of guilt and anxiety!
                Starting in high school, I have traveled for various reasons and have never really had a fear of missing out. I just had my own priorities about where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Yes, I was a bit slow at the dating thing, but that finally fell into place. Traveling solo in the USA was a good primer for later traveling solo internationally. I think a lot of people think you have to travel with a buddy - not so. You have to do a bit of planning, but you do not need someone else. Take a camera so you can revisit where you have been.
                I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                ...
                Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                Comment


                • Originally posted by jns View Post
                  Traveling solo in the USA was a good primer for later traveling solo internationally. I think a lot of people think you have to travel with a buddy - not so. You have to do a bit of planning, but you do not need someone else.
                  agree, jns

                  Comment


                  • jns, I do agree, tho' I think, especially for women traveling alone, there are some additional safety measures to be considered. Unfortunately we're more vulnerable and may let our guards down when on vacation.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
                      jns, I do agree, tho' I think, especially for women traveling alone, there are some additional safety measures to be considered. Unfortunately we're more vulnerable and may let our guards down when on vacation.
                      I agree that women can be more vulnerable but I have known some women who were physically and mentally capable of taking care of themselves in almost any situation. Guys would do best to not get into a fight with them. And some would go the next step and arm themselves. Of course, when I started traveling, people could carry weapons and not be breaking the law. It seems as if some of the equality that that provided has been taken out of the equation.
                      I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                      ...
                      Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                      From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JonnyR View Post
                        It never fails that when I have logged onto Facebook or Instagram, feelings of FOMO, anxiety or general unease start to creep in as I see people posting about all sorts of stuff, amazing vacations I'm not taking, vistas I've not seen, and great looking people that I wish that I knew!
                        I can relate, especially on IG.

                        I have an account with nothing on it yet (not even a profile photo) because it is intimidating… so many people have pages filled with beautiful and interesting snapshots from their lives and I’m over here thinking:

                        “My coffee cup is neat. Maybe I should take a photo of that? Nevermind, that’s stupid and you’re stupid and don’t bother because no one will care about your stupid coffee cup.”

                        And social media DOES suck the productivity right out of you. I’ve noticed on mornings that I spend scrolling through FB while I wake up, the longer I’m on the site, the less I seem to do with the rest of my day. It’s so easy to just sit there and absentmindedly scroll through stuff endlessly. Before you know it, you’ve lost an hour of your life that you’ll never get back.

                        I’ve legit thought about getting one of those website blockers that forces you to block social media distractions during certain hours or periods of time. Sometimes when I’m taking a 5-minute mental break from work (or eating lunch or grabbing a snack since I work from home), I might scroll through FB. Unfortunately, five minutes turns into 20 in the blink of an eye.



                        Comment


                        • jns I agree! I have traveled alone in the US and internationally, and it was great.

                          With that being said, however, I have realized that traveling with someone else to share the journey actually is way better (assuming they are the RIGHT person friend or otherwise).

                          This thought occurred to me when I was in Iceland -- it was absolutely spectacular and I was so happy, excited and at peace...and then sad.

                          I kept wanting to turn to the person next to me and say something like: "did you see that!! Isn't this ****ing awesome!!" but alas, all I had was my GoPro and iPhone camera to document what I was up to...

                          As I've gotten older, I've realized -- I am happy to travel on my own, but it's just not as meaningful.

                          Technology can make that BETTER (being able to share what you are up to with those closest to you) or WORSE (being able to share what you are up to with those not at all close to you (i.e social media) and try and fill that gap).

                          Comment


                          • jns, I definitely agree. My only point is that some people consider security and safety at no point, when they make their single travel arrangements. They may not be mindful of security living alone, so, traveling alone doesn't bring up any particular concerns either. When I've done it, I've tried to make some relatively easy choices and planning ahead for my safety when choosing accommodations and other details. I may not choose to take my gun, but I'll make some plans ahead to increase my security, if I can. Women seem to be particularly vulnerable. We need to be more diligent.

                            Being mindful of our safety is half the battle. For men and women alike.

                            Comment

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