Where Does Connectivity End?

The good, the bad and the ugly. I think everyone has their own stance on technology, what it means to them, their engagement with it and how it may be beneficial or detrimental at times.

In Superconnected, author states, “The pro side is I’m available, and that is the down side, also” (Chayko, 2008, p. 114).

Digital Technology - Potential

Let’s just let that sink in . . .

The conflict will always exist. We agree to disagree, agree to feel in sync or follow course and disagree to share our own perspectives or to just be different from the rest. The introduction of technology and it’s integration of connectivity has led us, our world, and our interactions to become even greater than before the use of technology. Without technology, some of us may reap the benefits, form stronger connections, have interactions in which are more meaningful, however, the inclusion of technology enables individuals to gain greater insight into specific cognitive functions, motor abilities and can even assist with making deeper relationships or allowing those who are afraid to speak up the opportunity to offer input.

As the pros and cons can continue to be weighed. I still find myself loving technology and all of its capabilities, but there are instances in which I oftentimes wish I was not so easily connected to everyone. I don’t mean the latter in a harsh or cruel way, but working in the field of communications and marketing at my full time job the demand and upkeep is exhausting. My daily routine consists of back and forth communication, correspondence both formal and informal, impromptu meetings, interruptions and quick instances of contact which allow for me to have this sort of love/hate relationship with the use of technology and connectivity to others. However, on the flip side it’s convenient when you are the one in need of a response, answer or need to check in on an item and the affordance of sending a quick email, picking up the phone or glancing at a computer screen to locate one’s schedule are some of the perks to this resource.

Going further, the use of technology exists beyond the workplace and allows for one to stay connected with his or her personal circles. As I begin to ponder, this part of connectivity I do enjoy seeing my long lost high school friends, living miles and miles apart and being able to see what they are up to or check in with them. Additionally, Chayko notes the following when highlighting the use of social media, distractions and what’s commonly referred to as, ‘FOMO’ she states, “I feel like I need to check [my favorite sites] regularly or I’ll be left out” (Chayko 2008, p. 125).

F . O . M . O . (Fear Of Missing Out) – In a recent article by Psych Health, the contributor said this, “The grass always looks greener on the other side” (Langdon, 2018). Langdon notes, the common uses of social media and how one can often be seen in a different light or the notion that individuals highlight the positive aspects of what’s happening in their lives over the negative ones. While it’s great to reflect on the positives and to showcase the big life moments you may be undergoing, this style of posting may come across to your viewers as “gloating” or may illustrate an inaccurate glimpse of everything happening in your life at that time.

FOMO ImageThis whole idea of “FOMO” is one that’s been highly researched and allows for individuals to even take quizzes to see where they may fall on the FOMO scale. Here’s a quiz you may take to see where you fall on this scale.

Posted on September 24, 2018, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Kim!

    I’m glad you touched on the topic of FOMO. I definitely identified with this topic in the readings this week. I am a person with high FOMO, if I know my friends are getting together and I can’t attend it reflects strongly on my mood. Social media presence escalates this fear of missing out. So many people are posting snap chat and Instagram stories highlighting what they’re doing throughout the day and I often find myself comparing my day-to-day activities with theirs. This comparison is definitely the “grass is greener on the other side” idea. Instagram is essentially a “highlight reel” of a person’s life, you post the good on there – not the bad. So when using that as a comparison factor to my life, I can definitely see my mood change. I have to actively remind myself that it’s a highlight reel and not real life, which is the same way I treat my Instagram account.

    Brittney

  2. What a great find in that FOMO quiz!

    As much as I love spending time online, I also cherish the times when I can put up my “out of office” message at the end of each semester. One thing I noticed when I traveled to Australia back in 2014 was how quickly I could do the necessary things online, especially if I was paying for wifi in 10-15 minute increments. (Nowadays more places in the Queensland rainforest have wifi, but back then I had to rely on coffeeshops). Anyway, even when teaching an online course and checking both D2L and email, I would have minutes left that I really didn’t know what to do with! It really made me realize how much time I must waste scrolling through social media feeds and not really engaging with any news items of substance.

  3. I agree with the need to not feel so connected. I took a brief break from Facebook this past week because I felt that: 1. I was checking it too often and it was a distraction. 2. Checking it more often than I thought I should was because I was afraid I was going to miss out on something. 3. I thought I was being ridiculous because what I do I really care about missing out on everything that passes through my feed. It was a very short break because I use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for my analytics and social media coursework. However, in just a few days, I realized how I would mindlessly pick up my phone to scan my Facebook feed. Do I really feel connected when I’m mindlessly scanning? Being super connected is going to be a fascinating psychological study some day. Thanks for the great article!

    • I find myself doing the same thing, always checking my social accounts and occasionally checking them so frequently that there are only a few new posts when I open it. I know the new iPhone update is going to include a feature where it shows you how much time you spend on each application, I think it’ll be a wake up call when I see those statistics!

  4. Awesome, informative, thought-provoking post this week.

    I took the FOMO Quiz and only scored a 7, which is within the ‘No FOMO likely’ range. I believe this is largely due to my personality, which identifies as ‘extroverted introvert’. I other words, though I’ve been blessed with strong people skills, I quickly become exhausted while displaying them. No wonder I spend way too much time on my iPhone as I recharge myself (no pun intended) following social events.

    Technically, I don’t believe connectivity ever really ‘ends’ in society as we know it. However, though certainly challenging, we can choose to disconnect/reconnect as needed in accordance with our own desires. In other words, even with technological capabilities constantly at our fingertips, we are not required to take advantage of such options. There is no law stating that we must keep a mobile device glued to our palm at all times. We are not morally compelled to maintain social media accounts. We are as free as we wish to be.

    Nice job!

    ~Jeff

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