We are constantly connected on social media and digital communication channels, so how is it that we are in the midst of a loneliness crisis? Here’s a closer look at the surge in loneliness that is affecting kids and adults alike.
Technology Has Replaced Face Time
Instead of playing together outside or in person, many kids are texting, chatting, and gaming online instead. These digital means of communication are less personal and leave kids feeling disconnected from their peers—even if they have hundreds of online ‘friends’. This is no different for adults though. Consider if you now spend more time texting with your nearest and dearest than you do time together. Most importantly, do you feel less engaged?
Rethinking The Way You Use Digital Communication
A simple shift from exchanging 100 text messages with a friend during the day is to spend 5 or 10 minutes video chatting instead. You can still text before and after your video chat, but you will feel more connected and engaged if you can actually talk. If not a video chat, a phone call.
Unplugged Time Together Is A Must
Technology is an excellent way to stay connected with your long distance friends and family, but scheduling quality time with one another is a must. The challenge is staying unplugged. For example, if I have lunch with a friend my phone stays in my purse—or at least face down on the table. Unfortunately, most of us spend lunch and dinner together on our phones and not with the person we are with.
If you can’t get the unplugged and authentic time you crave with your current circle of friends, it’s time to expand your social circle.