Staying connected has never been so important. With the arrival of mobile connectivity, there has been a palpable decline in quality social interactions, especially amongst younger generations. It became more attractive to engage with others via social media and to consume digital content in a bubble than to authentically connect with others in person; feelings of loneliness and isolation increased exponentially. It turns out that the quality of social interactions matters more than quantity.
And then the pandemic hit. Lockdowns and social distancing regulations only aggravated the distance felt between individuals and their surrounding communities.
Thankfully, technology isn’t all to blame for this loss of connectedness. In fact, it’s thanks to digital tools and communication platforms that people have been able to maintain social interactions with others despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.
Here are just a few of the ways in which technology is helping people maintain social connectedness every day.
Maintaining social interactions :
Birds of a feather
One way that digital technology is helping people connect is by providing many opportunities to share and bond with others who have common interests and struggles. Through social media groups, individuals can find like-minded peers to discuss with. This unique ability to quickly and easily find counterparts who are experiencing similar things leads to meaningful communication, lower levels of stress, and a deeper sense of being understood, listened to, validated. These kinds of online communities create spaces for meaningful exchanges that are not always possible in the limited real-life comings and goings of the average person. However, it’s important to note that simply joining a group won’t lead to relational connections: active participation is key.
Video chatting in all its forms (Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc.) has allowed families, friends, and romantic partners to feel closer to each other despite long distances or an inability to get together in person. Technology has allowed for face-to-face interactions that feel meaningful, allowing people to share conversations and real-time experiences with far-away loved ones. Being able to cook together in kitchens miles apart, go for a walk and talk in different cities and watch a grandchild take their first steps from hours away has allowed us to stay connected and interact in purposeful ways. At the push of a button, you can be present with someone you care about and feel like you are together, despite the contrary is true. Combining voice and video makes communication feel closer and more intimate versus a simple phone call.
Another way that digital communication tools help maintain social interactions is with instant messaging, text messaging, and the instant availability of others. Being able to reach and connect with someone right away, at any time, reduces feelings of social isolation and loneliness. In seconds, you can reach out and share your thoughts, ideas, and life experience with others. While this perma-connectedness can be draining at times, especially when there aren’t healthy boundaries between work, home life, and quiet technology-free time, nonetheless, it has positive sides to it.
Online to offline
Believe it or not, increased online social interactions lead to more offline time spent with others. Online conversations often lead to a coffee date or dinner plans, facilitating meaningful in-person connections. Despite popular belief, digital interactions aren’t clearly replacing face-to-face interactions. On the contrary, studies have shown that digital users are the most common users of public spaces (like cafes, restaurants, religious spaces, and parks). This suggests that staying in contact with others via text, calls and social media actually makes people want to make plans to hang out offline.
Technology in all its forms is having a powerful impact on the way people interact with each other and is facilitating more meaningful social interactions. While there are pros and cons to everything, even digital tools, there is no denying that technology has some clear advantages to offer in order to stave off loneliness and feelings of isolation.
Looking for IT ideas and support to improve social interactions…or just help your business thrive? OnSite Geeks is a team of dedicated experts in the IT and marketing fields. Contact us and we’ll be happy to chat about how we can help meet your unique needs.
Staying connected has never been so important. With the arrival of mobile connectivity, there has been a palpable decline in quality social interactions, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Thanks to digital tools and communication platforms, people have been able to maintain social interactions with others despite the less-than-ideal circumstances.
Check out our latest blog to find out ways in which technology is helping people maintain social connectedness every day. Follow on FACEBOOK