Technology takeover: time to pull the plug

Lauren Small

It is no surprise that technology plays a huge role in our day to day lives. It helps us get information online, it gives us a mobile device to call others, it even allows us to video chat with someone on the other side of the country.
      

Technology has truly woven itself into something upon which we depend.
The problem is that while Instant Messaging and texting is on the rise, actual social interaction is slowly on it’s way out.
      

With our heads stuck behind the computer and our fingers busy texting at 50 words a minute, we tend to forget that there are people sitting across from us. There is so much time and energy wasted on the newest gadgets that it becomes difficult to bring oneself back to reality.
      

Technology is simply warping our lives and dramatically altering our social structuring.
      

The perfect example of time consuming technology is Facebook. With 150 million active members, this social networking site is changing the way we interact.
      

Just the other day I was walking to a class and made eye contact with an acquaintance I knew from high school. Instead of stopping to chat for a minute, she awkwardly disappeared into the crowd.
      

Later that night when I checked my Facebook, she left a comment on my wall saying “It was so good seeing you today!”
       

I mean, come on.
      

Posting pictures on Facebook is also causing emphasis on physical appearance rather than conversation and personality. The intense narcissism of uploading sexy photos of yourself to get comments is just not realistic.
      

If we are able to select only flattering images of ourselves and can somewhat ‘edit’ how we are perceived, then what is the point of talking when you tell your story through photos? People become associated with their photos and are expected to look how they do online.
      

Through editing and distorting our images to be something we are not, we cultivate a generation of insecurity and high expectations.
      

But who needs to know what you really look like if you never leave your computer anyways?
      

It’s this exact problem that has changed the way we date. Web sites such as E-Harmony and Match.com are allowing our internet-savvy society to ditch local coffee shops and spontaneous small talk and replacing it with image searching.
      

What happened to going out and talking to a cute stranger at a bar or club. That still happens, of course, but the short awkward conversation usually ends in an exchange of Facebook URLs and a relationship based on comments and emails.
      

Facebook and dating cites are just a scratch on the surface of how our society is slipping farther and farther away from human interaction. Entire books can be written on this topic alone.
      

The scariest part is that the affect it is having on our lives is almost unnoticeable to most people because it is quickly becoming the norm.
      

It is time to take our hands off our cell phones and shake someone’s hand. Time to close our laptops and open a conversation with a stranger.

Life is too short to be sitting behind a computer, so get out there and live!
 

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