Zach Coriarty 10/19

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.

2 thoughts on “Zach Coriarty 10/19

  1. I did not read this article, but in the TED talk I watched, the presenter discussed a very similar idea. Specifically, that although we feel technology decreases loneliness, it actually increases it. Based on the argument of your article, it makes sense that the pandemic increased our reliance on technology, which in turn, caused us to feel more lonely. In the TED talk I watched, the presenter said that technology causes us to feel an illusion of companionship, but it is an illusion, after all, so really, we are more lonely – it seems as though your author agrees with this point.

  2. Zach, I thought your closing points were really interesting. Personally, I rarely think about the connection between capitalism and the feelings that arise from social media usage, but it is so evidently there. A quote from the Katz article that stood out to me was, “They’re intent on selling us cures for loneliness… If there is an epidemic of loneliness, it goes hand in hand with the imperatives of capitalism.” I completely agree with you on the point that social media companies, like Facebook, are intent on keeping us on their platforms and keeping us away from experiencing the real world. Because of this, I think that there needs to be more governmental regulations implemented that protect people from a lot of the harmful motives of big technology companies.

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