digital media diminish the quality of social interactions

digital media diminish the quality of social interactions
Photo by Creative Christians / Unsplash

“We miss out on necessary conversations when we divide our attention between the people we’re with and the world on our phones. Or when we go to our phones instead of claiming a quiet moment for ourselves.” ― Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation

Do you know what’s the easiest way to show someone that they’re not important and you hardly care about them or their feelings? Just pull out your cell phone and stop paying attention to them.

As ubiquitous as they are in today’s world, the truth is that phones disconnect us from people close to us. It has been reported that even having a muted phone on us while interacting with a friend can have a negative impact on our conversation. When we know that we might need to divert our attention to something else (maybe a call, a text, or even a random notification) at any moment, we refrain from having long, deep conversations around sensitive or emotional subjects.

It’s true that digital communication has been a blessing in our lives. However, it also hinders us from forming strong emotional bonds. In addition, it makes us less empathetic and ironically more distant. A recent study investigated the difference between college students interacting face-to-face with each other and those communicating via digital means such as online messaging or video chats. The results indicated the students that socialized in person had the strongest emotional bonds.