Have Digital Relationships Ruined Our Ability to Communicate?

Have Digital Relationships Ruined Our Ability to Communicate?

What happened to good ‘ol fashion conversation?

Being digitally “connected” constantly may seem to increase productivity, but what is it doing for us personally? Have we lost the value of personal relationships?

68% of people check their emails before 8am each day and also before they fall asleep. A typical business day is no longer 9 – 5. Emails and texts go on 24 hours a day and many of us wake up and check our phones. And if your organization is global, forget about it. According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s Internet Trends report, people check their phones 150 times a day. So what does this do to us mentally and socially?

Being connected 24/7 has without a doubt created attention deficit disorder. We are bombarded constantly with data and information. We feel the need to respond immediately. And, therein lies the problem. When do we make eye contact, shake hands or chat while reading someone’s expression or body language? That said, there is an entire generation that never had to develop interpersonal skills and only know a digital world. The University of Kansas studied teenagers’ use of mobile phones. Heavy use of technology can inhibit deep thought and cause anxiety. There is psychological stress that never existed before because we do not let our brains rest.

“Increased mobile maintenance expectations positively predicted over dependence, which decreases satisfaction. Additionally, entrapment, the guilt and pressure to respond to mobile phone contact, uniquely predicted dissatisfaction.”

I’m not saying let’s toss our phones, tablets or laptops. I am saying let’s take a break, let’s reconnect, let’s go back to eye contact and speaking to each other in person. Let’s raise the next generation with more tangible interpersonal skills so we don’t become a society ruled by technology and lose real, true connections that are made when communicating face-to-face. Let’s start by declaring one day a month “technology free day.” Or TFD. Let’s make it May 1st. Its an official DND day. LOL. It is possible. Just turn it all off. Let’s see what happens. Would love to hear how it goes for you!

 

Robin Zvonek
CEO

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