In recent years, all ways of communication have taken a great turn. People are connected all day long to the rest of the world from their computers and phones. Life gets no rest with today’s technology and everything in general has increased our daily speed.
News is traveling faster than what it takes for us to even finish a sentence, like news of an earthquake on Twitter before people are even able to feel that something is going on, or social movements that would have never had an impact without the access to self-broadcasting. People know about other people’s lives even without having direct contact. So now the debate is, has this technology brought us closer or is it perhaps increasing the difficulty of creating true bonds?
Nowadays the world is much more connected than it has been in our whole history, we get to see what happens in places from across the globe in a matter of seconds, and the same happens with the people we care about; friends, family, co-workers, etc.
Tools such as Facebook have made it possible for people, that in a different times would have never seen each other again, to keep track of each other’s new journeys; distance is no longer an obstacle for relationships, in fact, these tools have brought the whole world closer and it has permitted us to discover different realities to our own.
What happens then with the people that are closer to us? Is there a need to relate through this media and is social media helping to strengthen our relations with others? A common example is when during a friends gathering, cellphones get the most attention and conversations are interrupted by the constant updates that the world is giving. As said before, the daily speed of life is suddenly stopping friends from taking a second to enjoy their mutual company because the amount of news-feed they are receiving is preventing them from just enjoying the presence of the people they have with them, or even experiencing the moment in which they are living.
So, what then is the real impact of technology on today’s relations? Can we really blame human innovation and technology on the benefits or damages to society? The truth is, social media is nothing more than a tool that may be used for many different purposes; from connecting the world, to disconnecting oneself from one’s surroundings. Perhaps what needs to be in our minds is the idea that moments are just that, moments, the one thing in life that will never come back, and it will be up to each one to enjoy it to its fullest, or to leave a friend for later when they are just across the coffee table, merely because we saw the earth moving on Youtube.
As technology has proven, we can do much more with our time than we had ever imagined and, when choosing to be present in every moment, we might be able to have a nice conversation at dinner with friends and family, while still having time to talk to the rest of the world before bed. We should cherish the present.
By Jessica Baptista, Director, WYA Latin America.