For those of you that didn’t get to see my presentation yesterday, I wanted to do a short outline of what my project was about. It was basically me ranting about how much I am annoyed at how people (including myself) that go to some kind of social outing and end up spending most of time on the phone. After the ranting though I look into some possible causes as to why people are so attached to their phones. Here are the main reasons I’ve found:
1) There is an instant gratification when people share about themselves and especially when someone receives feedback.
- It is ingrained in human nature to want to share about ourselves. The happy feeling we get when we do it is because the act of doing so gets a chemical reaction from the part of our brain that releases dopamine. The problem with this is that when we do this too often, we don’t get the same level of happiness over time and can start to experience what feels like depression.
2) You can present the best of yourself in the digital world. People don’t have to worry about bad impressions or making mistakes when they can edit everything they say before they send a response or make a post.
3) Real relationships are messy.
- Dealing with real people can get complicated and frustrating and no one really wants to deal with that anymore. (I know if I could have done the presentation through this blog I probably would have done a lot better, I’m a terrible public speaker, even with just one person)
There were also s few interesting, and unexpected things I found out while researching for this project.
- 79% of people age 18-44 have their phones with them 22 hours a day. This includes sleeping with their phones. (I can say this is absolutely true of myself, and most people who saw my presentation agreed)
- The biggest issue with everyone spending so much time connected, is that they aren’t spending time on themselves. Self-reflection is very important to figuring out who you are and when we aren’t doing that our relationships with ourselves and our relationships with each other suffer.
In the end I found that if we were to put down our phones and spend some time thinking about who we are that we would be able to have actual conversations with each other when we go out. We may one day even be able to find a better purpose for the technology we use, including social media. The problem was never the technology we have today or the amount we are exposed to it, which what I had assumed coming into this project (at least I assumed it was a part of the issue). Humans are 100% to blame for this antisocial and addictive behavior (which, upon reflection is not that big a surprise). So maybe next time you have some time to yourself, put away your devices. Maybe you’ll be more inclined to not pull out your phone next time you’re spending time with your friends or family.