• Chris M Wilson

Disconnected in a Connected World - Why Smartphones are Altering Our Social Lives

Disconnected in a Connected World - Your Optimal Lifestyle Blog - Chris M Wilson

Disconnected in a Connected World - Why Smartphones are Altering Our Social Lives

The world is more connected than ever through our phones, zoom calls, and technology. Yet, we as humans seem to be more disconnected from each other. Look around any waiting room, line, bus stop, or restaurant and what do you see? People are all around, but where are they looking? What are they doing? Looking down at their devices.

Technology has no doubt changed the world forever. I use technology every single day. That includes my phone which helps me with all my daily needs, searches, maps, and more. As well as my computer, where I do a ton of work for my business, content creation, video editing, and writing this blog right now.

While technology has helped “connect” the world and allow people from all over to instant message and video call, it has greatly impacted our own social lives for the worse. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube have algorithms that show you the content you want to see. Meaning, content that will keep you on the platform longer, endlessly scrolling until your eyes hurt.

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While people used to have deep discussions over lunch and get to know each other better now they only partake in small talk in between breaks from looking at their phones. While I do use my phone every day, I make sure it doesn’t control my life. I allow myself times to use it and times where it goes on silent and doesn’t get checked at all.

One example of how disconnected we are in this digital age is when I go to dinner with friends and family (pre-covid). People will be visiting from different areas and some people I will not have seen for a decent period of time. Not long into the night, I look around and what do I see? Everyone and I mean everyone is looking down at their devices. There will be 10 different people in one room and not one of them is having a conversation with another.

I refuse to look at my phone in scenarios like this. Frankly, I find it disrespectful to the others around you and unacceptable. I would like to say it’s a younger generation thing, but it’s not. Even people older than me are all dazed and confused by their smartphones. Situations like this are very unfortunate and never took place 10 years ago.

Another example of how disconnected we all are from each other is connecting with people outside of our own cities. Every single person I know in life has their phone strapped to their side or in their pocket all day every day. Literally, everyone. I do not know one person who doesn’t have a phone with them at all times. Yet, many of us fail to even call the people around us at all.

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How does this even make sense? The people that should matter to us - family and friends. The people who we care about in our lives, the ones that have helped us through tough times. But, we can’t seem to take 5 minutes out of our day, or 15 minutes a week to push 3 buttons on our phone (which we are using all of the time anyway!).

By the way, I actually just took my phone out and it does take only 3 button pushes to call any contact in my phonebook. Not only can we phone people nowadays but we can video chat just as easily. Whether it’s through Zoom, Google Meet, Duo, WhatsApp, or any other device or app. Video calling is seamless and fast from almost anywhere.

Now you might be saying well Chris, my life is chaotic, it’s busy, I wake up and put out 100 fires a day and then go to sleep. I get it, I know your life is busy. My life is busy too, everyone is living a busy life and dealing with a lot. But, that doesn’t give you the right to make up excuses as to why you can’t spare 5 minutes and push 3 buttons a week.

Check out our YouTube video on Smartphone notifications!

3 Things to Help You Limit Device Use

1. Only check social media at certain times each day. This could be 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. No more.

2. Turn off your phone push notifications. These are notifications that alert you on your phone screen as soon as you get it. This could be notifications from all social media platforms. Emails, your phone ringer or anything else that can cause huge distractions. I follow this step every day and it helps me stay focused.

3. Don’t put your phone on the table when you go to eat out with someone. Don’t pull out and look at your phone when you are out with people, friends, family. This is a huge red flag and completely disrespectful. As soon as I see someone put their phone on the table when we go out to eat they move down on my importance ladder. If they don’t value my time then I will not value theirs.

Bonus Tip - Push the 3 buttons on your phone at least once a week to connect with family and friends :).

I’m sure you have been a culprit for some of these poor phone habits yourself. I’m not perfect and have done them as well. The point I want to get across is that we all must get back to socializing with others. To limit device time, and to talk to the people that matter in our lives.

Life is too short to be endlessly scrolling on social media and being “busy”. Use your time productively and live a life built around structure. Planning your time and how you spend it will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and joyful life.

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog and I hope to see you again next week!

Chris M Wilson CEO of Your Optimal Lifestyle self help brand.

Chris M Wilson

Entrepreneur & Purpose Coach

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