Electronics and social media have majorly amplified our anxiety levels, but have done so in the sneakiest way. As a population, we have become dependent of our technology for every decision and task. Every free moment that may prove to be awkward or quiet is filled with tapping away at apps, not even truly fulfilling any specific task. When we are put in a situation where our technology is removed from us, it creates a feeling as though ‘something is missing’.
We are all guilty of reaching into our purses or pockets only to remember that our phone was left at home. Throughout the day the anxiety begins to creep up on us little by little. What important emails am I missing? What calls or voicemails have I missed? These reflective experiences show us just how addicted we have become to feeling anxious. We welcome and accept apps and their constant push notifications, as well as an overload of store membership emails, but turn away opportunities for human interaction. These endless notifications have normalized a constant level of anxiety and a constant level of loneliness.
In the moment that we reach into our pockets to feel our phone and it is not there, we feel a rush of adrenaline and anxiety. However, during the day, as we are bombarded by communication after communication on our devices, we do not feel the same type of anxiety. This anxiety is more covert. It is hidden in a rampage of likes, and hearts, and forwards.
Although anxiety may stem from these electronic devices and social media platforms, we always have the choice to disconnect. We can disconnect and take time to communicate in-person or even inter-personally; which sometimes seems like a lost concept. By disconnecting we can achieve a form of communication that feels less anxious, less constant, and more fulfilling.
– Kasia Majkowski