It has become dismaying and clear that technology has surpassed our humanity. Every individual in a coffee shop, or on a metro train, can be seen zoned out in a premise where the internet is available. Carrying the world in their palms, they feel out of the world. Technology aimed to ease everyone’s life, but, how has it ended up being? I do not deny the comfort that technology has given us, but it has also affected human behavior personally, emotionally, socially, and societally.
These are the real concerns surfacing due to our unhealthy relationship with technology, which is at stake. To live a happier, healthier, and more productive life in the digital age, these issues need to be resolved.
How Technology Affects Our Behavior?
Technology influences human behavior by shaping our communication methods, altering our learning habits, and influencing our daily routines. For instance, social media can affect our self-perception and interactions, while digital tools can foster increased multitasking but also potential dependence or addiction.
Let’s have a deeper look at the effects of technology on human behavior:
Social connectivity with friends and family around the globe has been only possible because of technology. The Internet is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest mode of communication. It is the gift of technology that by just pressing the enter key, a person can travel miles in seconds.
It is great to use technology to connect on Facebook and Twitter-like social media if one stays away and the union is not possible. Modern society has become impersonal, pushing people to interact on social media rather than face-to-face interaction.
Brevity and openness are encouraged in digital communication rather than face-to-face conversation, so it is more favored. It also allows one to delve into topics that we don’t feel comfortable with while conversing directly. Empathy and intimacy fade when we stop looking into other’s eyes, and we become less aware of the physical gestures that accompany conversation.
That results in a loose bond between the two talking to each other, especially the starters of life-Yes, the teens. Building a relationship digitally never works to develop an intimate bond.
Social media or networking is the current source of spreading any news in no time. It is irrelevant if the news is fake or authentic. This hotspot has become the means to convey all the messages that affect society at large. Instead of relying on print media, people blindly get misled by social media which creates a chaotic scene at places. Content available in media molds the opinion of society. The malicious websites have given rise to copyright issues.
Technology provides us with an ocean of information. One should use his or her conscience to decide what is right and what is wrong. Also, a check on the release of correct information will prove the societal behavior of humans. Spending too much time on social media permits people’s behavior to be hijacked.
You might have heard your parents talking about the picnic and hanging out with friends that they used to enjoy. Visiting the relatives on various occasions was fun. But now, the internet has changed our social behavior. The traditional ways of meetings have been replaced with phone calls and emails.
Technology has affected our social bonds to such an extent that we feel trapped in a digital cave filled with all the amenities but no feelings. Children can be seen spending all of their time in the virtual world of mobile and games rather than the real world of parks and grounds. This addiction to technology has made them less creative and lazy.
Overuse of technology such as cell phones and the internet causes us to neglect the surrounding people. Because of it, our behavior and relationship change detrimentally.
Have you ever noticed by delving into our personal lives, technology changes, how we interact with our loved ones? When you text a person, it is the words that travel from you to the other. Body language, tone of voice, gestures, and emotions can never be expressed through technology. Many times such text is misunderstood, which leads to misinterpretation. An illusion of companionship without the development of social skills ends in depression and loneliness.
Technology dependence affects human behavior that strangely resembles drugs. A notification alert or light in the phone commands the brain to release dopamine, which makes you feel happy. This happiness increases if you get likes on Instagram. Hence, people master interactions more than social ones to continue feeling good.
How technology negatively alters human behavior
Technology has given us many advantages and made our lives much easier. However, it has also altered human behavior to a certain degree. Many studies have been published over the years linking technology to health issues, addiction, and social isolation. But that’s not all. Here, we will discuss how technology alters human behavior negatively.
1. Leads to addiction
It has become harder and harder for us to stay away from our smartphones. Even when we don’t have anything going or without any prompt, we find ourselves reaching out to our phones, no matter the social setting we are in or who we are with. It clearly indicates a sort of addiction that we are unable to ignore our smartphones for prolonged periods of time.
2. Stress and mental anxiety
The stress of always keeping up can be pretty taxing on humans. It can even alter their behavior so much that even when they do make a conscious effort to stay abreast of their smartphones, it looms over them constantly, making them anxious and taxing their mental health. Research has even shown how a smartphone, just by being in the same environment as a person, can affect his cognition and make him less productive.
3. Makes us more biased towards our opinions
Humans love listening to their voices. However, technology reinforces this concept to an absurd degree by creating a filter bubble that prevents any contradicting voice from reaching us. The longer we use the internet, the more we confirm our biases, due to the algorithms working that way. Thus, it makes us feel as if our opinion is the only correct one, not allowing any alternative solution to come to us.
4. It shortens attention span
The internet has so much to offer, and we only have a limited amount of time. This has changed the way we create and consume content. Today, we are consuming shorter and shorter content in order to accommodate as much as we can in our limited time. However, it has also made us develop a shorter attention span, so we can’t focus on anything for more than a few minutes. Arguably, it has also made us more impatient than ever.
5. Changed how we interact
Technology has also changed the way we interact. Today, we are more comfortable communicating via a digital medium than in real life. It has changed our relationship dynamics and is making us more lonely by the second. Human interaction is on the decline while we keep inventing newer ways to communicate. We shop, date, dine, and even work online, making our lives more isolated than ever.
Technology alters human behavior; how do we prevent this?
Although technology can be harmful to human behavior, there are ways we can counter it. We have mentioned a few tips to prevent the impact of technology on our behavior. Take a look:
1. Try to understand your addiction
We are all, to some degree, addicted to technology. Thus, the first step that might help us is the realization of our addiction with respect to what and how much. Unless we understand what we are addicted to, we can’t fight it.
2. Prevail over it or attest to prevent it from influencing you
Now, this is easier said than done. However, without making some effort, we can’t ever escape the clutches of ruthless technology. And as they say, prevention is better than cure, so we might as well try to not get addicted to technology by following a rigid schedule and practicing discipline. In some cases, you might even consider special care or reach out to a specialist.
3. Life is very different from social media
Overuse of social media has rewired our brains into thinking everything we see online is real. It is not. Life is not about likes or shares. It doesn’t care about your follower count. It surely doesn’t compel everyone to like you or share in your happiness. Remember, life is outside the virtual box, and any relationship you have in the real world is worth having.
Even an antagonist like me will admit that technology is good. In the digital world of today, willingly or unwillingly, we have allowed technology to govern our behavior. Technology was created to make the world a smaller place, which was a positive intention.
But on a personal level, the need and use of social skills have been reduced because this machinery tries to enter one’s life, causing dissatisfaction. Technology must be used effectively to improve productivity in the long run. For this, instead of being the controller, it must act as a supplement.
It creates a responsibility for the masters to take a stand in the interest of Mankind. Besides making us count the advantages of technology, they should address the negative impacts of their creation.
In their speeches, they should encourage people to limit the use of tech tools to allow them to make choices in their lives that create a healthy connection to themselves, to each other, and a beautiful world. It may hurt revenue in the short run, but promise loyalty in the long run, to be seen as close friends and not necessarily evils.