‘Is hyperconnectivity actually making us less kind humans?’

Sound Off: Decisions aren’t made simply but teased out over hundreds of messages

“Has the expectation of always being contactable, always being on, made us more anxious?” Photograph: iStock

“Has the expectation of always being contactable, always being on, made us more anxious?” Photograph: iStock

 

There’s something about the empowerment of communication through technology that actually disempowers.

Decisions aren’t made simply but teased out over hundreds of messages and GIFs. Are we crippled by choice and our ability to communicate every whim at our whim? Is hyperconnectivity actually making us less kind humans?

We have more channels to communicate through than ever before. So surely this has made us incredibly efficient. Why, then, has it taken 45 WhatsApp messages and 3½ hours to agree on a place for lunch with friends?

On top of this, has the expectation of always being contactable, always being on, made us more anxious? It’s hard to believe that there is no correlation between the two when there can be 153 messages exchanged across 13 groups on a “quiet day”. And that’s just on one channel of communication.

Social etiquette

We have the ability to text a friend to say we’re running late but does that mean that it’s now okay to always be late? Does increased communication absolve us from basic social etiquette and dissolve consideration for others beyond the tick-the-box exercise of technological contact?

Dating apps are assisting many relationships; but can we really say that they are nurturing connection? For example, there’s a certain dating app created to empower women by challenging “traditional dating rules”. Is being forced to make the first move a real differentiator when you can have 93 “matches” but end up with only seven half-hearted conversations and no real connection?

Is it even possible anymore to have a meaningful IRL without a URL?

It’s a red flag for human relationships when the tools we have designed to make our lives easier may actually have made them far more difficult to navigate.

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