There has been a big surge in digitalization in all leading companies as well as educational institutions. The pandemic has brought the world to a situation where those not connected to the internet are facing a total exclusion from everyone, whether relations or business.
With strict social and physical distancing and prolonged lockdown for the second year, new routines require accessing the internet for most services. We have seen how digital technology has now engulfed our day-to-day activities that it seems impossible to live without our gadgets for even a day.
As mentioned, there has been a huge divide due to digitalization in our families as well as our societies. There are elders in our families who are not very well connected on social platforms and so they feel disconnected from the family events.
This is increasing a gap between our elders and their adult children. Another gap between teenagers and their parents is also seen where parents are unable to catch up with their children for their digital activities.
This has interfered with communication and has diminished our capacity to adequately respond to social cues and increase the opportunity for, if not the incidence of, emotional infidelity (which means if we are not emotionally present as a companion for our partners.)
Due to the immediate reward system-based model of online gaming and social media posting it has a tremendous impact on people’s mood and behaviours. It has been observed that there is a constant feeling of sadness and emptiness in people.
“According to WHO, 60% to 85% of people in the world — from both developed and developing countries — lead sedentary lifestyles, making it one of the more serious yet insufficiently addressed public health problems of our time,”. This is a huge number.
To sum it up, we are left with a big question here “Are we improving as a society with poor mental and physical health or are we deteriorating?” I agree that we need technology and our lives are so much dependent on it in every aspect but we should be aware of how wisely we use it and how much we use it. Staying connected to the real world in every aspect is more important than staying connected virtually.
This is not some deep teaching on the psychology of human interaction or the spiritual aspects of relationship. It is very simple and easy. Just put your phone down and be here now for people whom you call family (your parents, your spouse and your children).
Dr Ruby Ahuja is a Consultant Psychologist, with over 18 years of experience. She does regular therapy and counselling sessions for various psychosocial problems for children as well as adults. Dr Ruby has been featured in prominent scientific national and international magazines, newspapers, as well as on Radio and TV Channels.