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In this day and age, it is unlikely that people perform their daily activities without the help of technology due to the rapid growth of different kinds of devices that have made easier the life of everyone in all aspects. According to the survey conducted by the UK Safer Internet Centre (2018), the new technology has caused that more than half of people become dependent and connected to social networks, being the most popular WhatsApp (43%), Snapchat (43%), Instagram (36%) and the least popular Facebook or Messenger (37%), which has produced that people will focus on their online lives instead of their real life. Nevertheless, there is a great controversy about this topic. On the one hand, those who are in favor believe that the use of technology makes people feel lonely and on the other hand, those who are against consider that technology bring them closer to each other. In the next few pages, it will be shown that technology is one of the main causes that people become lonely and isolated themselves from others.
It has been demonstrated that technology eliminates the necessity of interpersonal interaction and social activities. In a study conducted by Drago (2015) found that “Electronic devices have negative effects on face-to-face interaction, closeness, connection and conversation quality”. In other words, this study claims that the presence of any kind of electronic device or mobile communication such as smartphones or tablets interferes with the ability of communication and human relationship due to the fact that, nowadays people are forgetting to use their basic communication skills for not interact with the others anymore. In addition, Drago (2015) states that, “Almost all students (97%) bring their cellphones or tablets with them every time they leave the house and the majority of them, when they are spending time with friends or family they always use their cellphones”. This means that, little by little, technology is causing that people lose or forget the only faculty and ability that differentiates them from other living beings, which is the need for person contact that in the long term can bring serious repercussions that would affect each one of us.
Moreover, it has been pointed out that the lack of confidence could be another reason for declare that technology makes people feel alone. It is clear to mentioned that technology has a significant role in teenagers, especially those between 14 and 23 years old, and this is mainly because they were born in the era where technology is increasingly advance and easily accessible however, it has been seen that it generates a negative impact on the way adolescents feel about themselves and their self-esteem. The UK Safer Internet Centre (2018) points out that, “Two in five (40%) teenagers feel left out when people post things that they haven’t been included in, with girls more likely to feel this in comparison to boys and also just over two in five (42%) young people have felt worried or anxious because of something they have seen on internet that make their sad or angry”. In fact, this can explain that technology has made teenagers feel less confident and prefer to have online friends than in real life.
Similarly, it has been shown that the constant use of electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, video games or even e-books can be addictive and can affect the interaction with family members. Indeed, this can be a serious problem considering that people will spend more time with their gadget and avoid contact with their relatives, in addition this could ruin their personal relationships due to their addiction to check their phones every five minutes. According to new survey, most people send an amount of 260 emails and over more than 5,000 text messages per day however, they spend less than half face-to-face with their family members. McGrath (2012) states that, “A lack of communication within a household can have a detrimental impact on family interaction, family cohesion and thus on the relationships between individuals within a household, since it plays an important role in the relationship between family leisure and family functioning”.
Despite the arguments that demonstrated that technology in some way provoke that people feel lonely, there is an amount of opponents that do not agree with these ideas. For them technology generate connection and makes people closer to each other. The UK Safer Internet Centre (2018) notes that, “68% of young people said that chatting to their friends online cheers them up and because is something online, they feel happy (89%), excited (82%) and inspired (74%). For most of people, the fact of being online is as well as important of maintaining a close relationship with their families and friends because for them for example, it is easier to express and tell their feelings to someone than in person using an emoji or some facial expressions in selfies. Likewise, it is important to mention that in the present day technology is everywhere and produces accessibility. For this reason, people have the option of being more connected and communicated with each other.
In summary, it has been previously explained that the excessive use of technology can cause loneliness of people in general, regardless of age and this may be due to the fact that, in some way, people are no longer need interpersonal interaction or any kind of social activity that involves contact with other people because they focus their attention on social medias or electronic devices. Additionally, it has been shown that some people who spend most of their time using a gadget have self-esteem problems and finally, improper use of technology can generate addiction. In conclusion, it is clear that technology is the greatest invention that human beings have created however, it is tool that we have to learn more about how to use it because if people do not make a change, they will separate themselves from society.
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