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Is Technology The Reason Why I Feel So Lonely?


I believe technology has completely changed the way people live their lives because it is one of the main causes of self isolation, causes a vast amount of mental and physical health problems, and can create negative views in one’s life.  There has constantly been a negative impact technology has had on us. We commonly isolate ourselves from others to put our time and energy into technology. Loneliness from technology often includes avoiding meaningful connections, creating distance, and having fewer physical connections. Without these” in person” relations in one’s life, it may make people feel an extreme amount of isolation and could create potential mental or physical health issues. It’s important to point out how technology mainly disintegrates a person’s feeling of belonging. So yes, technology does play a major role in making people feel isolated, specifically from making connections. 

In the first instance, social isolation has become a common feeling throughout the recent years with minors. They’re said to have feelings of doubtfulness and unsureness. The meaning of isolation is to be “completely alone”, this can either be with one’s thoughts or physically. “Socially isolated people may lack friends or close coworkers, and they often feel lonely or depressed. They can suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety” (Tulane University, 2020). Not only does this form of isolation make someone feel alone, it is extremely unhealthy. It’s important to realize the meaning of isolation and its effects before talking about how technology can play a role in it so we have a better understanding of its background. 

Another important term that should be known and understood before talking about the negative effects of technology is loneliness. Even though isolation and loneliness can be perceived to have the same effects on someone, it’s important to realize that they do have some key differences. Loneliness is “the state of distress or discomfort that results when we perceive a gap between our desire for social connection and our actual experience of it” (Stanford University, 2023). From this quote, we can conclude that in spite of the fact that it is similar to isolation, loneliness is related more to the actual feelings and results from being isolated. Both loneliness and isolation are major outcomes from technology. It’s important to understand what they are entirely before connecting them to negative outcomes from technology or social media usage.

Technology has either been a pro or a con in one’s life. GCF Global points out the negatives it contributes to the people that rely their lives on technology. Relating back to mental health, “Social media can also make people feel like they’re missing out on meaningful social events, leading to feelings of exclusion, stress, and insecurity.” GCFGlobal shows that social media specifically is what causes the most harm to technology users. It not only may make them feel a sort of loneliness, it also affects them mentally.  Social media users specifically frequently romanticize their life to make others feel as if their lives need to be up to the same standards even though it might be nearly impossible. Going back to connections we are able to make in person, using technology as a substitute won’t make them as meaningful. As said in the article, “this behavior could be making our loneliness worse”. 

The use of social media is constantly talked about in the world today. Since the beginning of social media, it has always been known that the use of it may make others feel like their lives aren’t as interesting as what is being posted on their Instagram feed. Young adults commonly compare their lives to the ones around them. These feelings often are the root of one’s loneliness and self isolation. Minors that are constantly using their technology to make connections are the same people that are affected the most and have unrealistic overviews of what their life is supposed to look like. When influencers use their platform to glorify their lives, it gives false hope and perceptions. “However, social media usage may also have negative impacts on social isolation by substituting social media usage for face-to-face social interactions, or by exposing individuals to unrealistic or distorted portrayals of connections’ lives, leading to feelings of social isolation” (Regis College, 2023). Even though other apps or a simple conversation over the phone, it still has the potential to create an unrealistic reality for someone which can cause not only the feeling of isolation but also a feeling of condescension. 

Technology has not only caused feelings of isolation, it has also caused numerous health issues too. These issues may have an impact on people having the need to isolate themselves from others since these issues all have negative effects on their lives. “Technology use may increase the risk of physical issues as well including: eyestrain, poor posture, sleep problems, reduced physical activity” (Legg, 2023). All of these health issues are what contribute to one’s insecurities which results in self isolation due to the fact that technology allows a gateway to compare oneself to others’ unrealistic lifestyles. These issues tend to affect not only one’s physical appearance but one’s mental health too. Even though social media tries its best to promote living a healthy and nutritious life, the users that are commonly found on these platforms are the ones that are doing the opposite, promoting foolish lifestyles. 

“Social media, in particular, has been shown to impact an individual’s mental health negatively. A 2019 study looked at how social media affected feelings of social isolation in 1,178 students aged 18 to 30” (Fielding, 2021). The ages mentioned are when most individuals are in their prime and are better off creating meaningful relationships. With technology in the way, they aren’t able to create these connections which leads to the beginning of self isolation. Self isolation is a type of coping mechanism that results from constant worry. This mechanism usually stems from the lack of creating personal relationships and contact. It’s been proved time and time again by multiple different resources and groups that the root of most self isolation comes from social media or technology in general. 

At the present time, researchers have noticed how technology can affect the development of children too. One fact that stood out was how it affects children based on their social lives. Once again going back to social media, it is one of the main concepts to provide negative effects on children and young adults. “When kids spend a significant amount of time on social media, it can lead to lower self-esteem. Teens are seeing curated content, a digital highlight reel, which can lead to distress due to teens comparing themselves to their peers” (National University, 2023). With the amount of technology consumed by a singular person, it’s proved to have more negative effects than positive. It’s important as people and peers to limit our own time on ourown devices and to convince those around us to spend their time doing more productive activities. As parents, there should be a limit set to their children’s screen time to avoid these issues that have been discussed. Especially for these young users, cyberbullying is commonly found on media platforms that are mainly used by easily influenced young adults, or in some cases children.  Minors with lower self-esteem and distress create problematic teens and young adults which affect not only their environment but the society in general. 

Another habit that these children have grown up with is being much less interactive in school and learning environments. Due to the reliance on technology, students are proven to be more anxious and less concentrated in classrooms. Now, these results not only affect their lives currently, it will also affect them in the long run. By this time, they will have a harder time adapting to an environment that doesn’t use any form of technology like different workplaces and social events. “Increased screen time has been linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression, as well as negative impacts on attention and concentration” (Wooddell, 2023). With these mental health issues, those affected will have a harder time being able to adapt to academically performing well, places that don’t rely on technology, and learning to work with people in general. 

To understand how technology affects children’s learning abilities, it’s important to mention how it affects their learning process too. Most educators rely on technology to post assignments, tests, or links to study for the next test. Mainly college students have realized how it affected their way of learning. “The technology expectations and amount of screen time that students are required by their teachers on a daily basis is negatively impacting student mental health, physical health, and the learning process as a whole. This information is essential for teachers to review and understand the consequences of their technology implementation within the classroom” (Strom, 2021). From these researches, teachers are recommended to lessen the usage of technology in their classrooms and outside of school in order to improve the learning of their students. 

Despite the fact that technology is known to be the root of most loneliness in young adults, it can also be seen as a method of having the opportunity to create more relations with people not only in your community but around the world. Young adults enjoy using media platforms along the lines of Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to connect with people they’ve never met before. They have this opportunity to connect with other cultures, identities, and religions all on their own. This is a preventative to loneliness and isolation caused by technology. “Research reveals social media is most effective in tackling loneliness when it is used to enhance existing relationships, or forge new meaningful connections” (University of Wollongong Australia, 2020). 

A great number of technology users might feel differently in regards to the fact that isolation stems from the use of technology. There are countless users that have made surprising relationships with social media. One great example is incoming college students being able to use social media platforms such as Facebook in order to connect with old friends and new acquaintances. “Facebook can help first-semester college students maintain relationships with high school friends and assist them in creating new friendships, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York” (Wengert, 2019). 

Even though there are vast amounts of research done to prove the few positives of the usage of technology, controversially, there are numerous reasons as to why technology should be avoided to improve one’s mental and physical health. These are multiple ways technology can be used and limited to users but these same users should realize how it could be a negative addition to their daily lives. Self isolation stems from any use of technology or social media and it’s important to remember that we should distance ourselves from its negative effects. There are more problems that stem from technology than we realize.



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