[Opinion] Technology encourages people to socialize in today’s modern era


In today’s society, technology is used to encourage socialization across the world. Graphic by Madison Lenard

Ethan Lin, Writer

The internet is used daily by millions of people across the globe to connect and communicate with one other. However, critics suggest that the internet actually encourages people to be more isolated and less social.

When face-to-face, some people have social anxiety, which makes it hard for them to talk to other people. There are many causes of social anxiety, but it is mainly due to the fear of being bullied or teased because of who one is.

Despite this mindset, people can communicate on the internet without the fear of being judged through the use of technology. Since the internet allows you to communicate with people worldwide, it is significantly easier to find people who you share common interests with compared to those in your local community.

According to research conducted by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., people who communicated through the internet were shown to have decreased levels of depression and loneliness, and increased levels of social support and self-esteem.

As long as it is used correctly, technology and the internet can encourage people to be more social. However, if used incorrectly, a person may experience the opposite effect.

According to addiction counselor Steve Rose, if a person used the internet to compare themselves to others rather than connect with them, they could potentially become less social than they were before. This is due to them being more concerned with other peoples’ opinions of them.

It is important to use technology correctly so one would be encouraged to socialize rather than isolate themself. Fortunately, it is rather simple to understand what to do and what not to do.

According to an experiment by Sage Journals, people who updated their statuses on social media more frequently felt a decrease in loneliness because they felt more connected to their friends every day.

It was also found that the effect of posting on loneliness was independent of direct social feedback.” When updating their status, individuals were not concerned about being judged by people but rather connecting with the community.

Whether technology encourages isolation or socialization all depends on the person. Technology itself will not directly affect someone. If a person compares themselves to others and seeks approval, then it may result in more isolation and seclusion. If one just wants to chat with friends or meet new people, socialization becomes more apparent.