In “How tech and social media are making us feel lonelier than ever”, Katz argues that virtual connections do not help our mentality on loneliness, but can actually amplify the feeling of loneliness. Similarly, Morris, in “Is technology killing the human touch” argues that our virtual connections can contribute to loneliness by deteriorating our social relationships.
Katz talks about how technology is causing a “loneliness epidemic” and that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased our reliance on technology. The reason technology causes such bad effects is because we find ourselves wrapped up in virtual environments and communities that cause a distraction from the real relationships we have in our life. Additionally, Katz brings to attention the real prerogative of big tech, fueled by capitalism, which is to market the disease as the cure. For example, Instagram is marketed as a place to meet new people and to keep up to date with the people in your life but is actually what is keeping people from making new, physical, relationships. However, Katz also notes that ‘Zoom fatigue’ is pushing people to realize how much we actually want to interact in person, citing “It’s pushing us to be more human.”
Morris’ take on loneliness comes from people taking time to interact on personal devices rather than in person, which is similar to Katz’s piece. Morris, however, puts emphasis on our more personal relationships and talks about how we tend to ‘disappear’ from some of our relationships due to the convenience that technology provides us. He also says that people no longer need to put the effort into starting relationships, since we can now find a new partner by simply swiping left or right based on split decision judgment.
Overall, I think both articles certainly convey the modern reality of relationships and loneliness, which makes me skeptical of how quickly we seem to still be heading towards more adoption of new technology. I also think Katz’s point on capitalism fueling the momentum is spot on. Facebook recently released a new feature where you can video chat on messenger, which is almost scary in a way because it gives you another reason to not put your phone down, which seems to be the goal of Facebook. Especially with the advancement of their Oculus technology, it seems like Facebook doesn’t want us to experience the physical world anymore.