Don't Forget That There Are Humans Behind The Screens
The tools we use today to stay connected with friends and family empower us to share what is going on in our lives from the palm of our hands.
We can scroll through a never-ending sea of updates from those we love, are turned on by or gain inspiration from. The variety of people we choose to put in our feeds and the reasons for wanting to do so are different for each of you.
These same tools have made it simpler than ever to let others know you’ve seen what they’ve shared. What started as a simple thumb driven thumbs up, evolved into a heart and now even allows us to scream, laugh or cry at an update.
As these tools shape, gather and manipulate our emotions it feels to me that they are also sucking out our humanity and rewiring our brains to think that it is ok to only interact with each other through our keyboard and phones.
For instance, I have a friend right now going through a rough patch, and they share a lot of updates on what is going on. Instead of a drive-by tear drop emoji, I instead texted them a quick message of support and to let them know I was thinking of them.
It is too easy to feel isolated and alone even among a sea of followers and social media “friends.” When those dark clouds invade our worlds, and the voices of doubt begin to scream it can be debilitating if you become brave enough to share your struggles online and then only get a wave of virtual hearts and the occasional pep talk message.
Humans need interaction with other humans. I’m not talking about thirst traps and memes, but actual interactions one-on-one.
Our brains fight against this sometimes. Don’t believe me? Try and for the next twenty-four hours not click on any like, love or other one-click response to any posts you see. Instead when you get that urge to use your thumb to show emotion, pause and type out a comment to the post. You’ll quickly realize how much we’ve been rewired to not take the time.
Even better take a few minutes to drop a text, DM or phone call to that person you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t had the time to connect with in a while. Sure, we’ve all got things going on and scrolling through our preferred distraction network is always pulling at us.
Humans need other humans especially when the world around us becomes more worrisome.
Every day there is something new to be worried about, but don’t forget to check in with those you care about. The more we interact, the better we’ll all feel.