I saw a mother on her phone one day and, from what I saw, she had been on there for a while. Her little daughter, of four or five-years-old, occupied herself quietly, up until the point where she was getting a tad restless. She politely tugged on her mum’s dress and looked up to say “mummy, can you be here?” and the mother smiled back to say “darling, I am here,” only to then continue on her phone. Now, there might have been a very viable, important reason as to why the mother needed to be on her phone and I am not trying to be a parent critic. But, it painted a very clear picture for me of the way in which technology can impact our lives. The innocence of a child said it so well, but it simply flew over the head of the occupied adult mind.
We live in a time with a protruding oxymoron where the individual is now simultaneously the most connected and the most unconnected in human history. With Queensland Mental Health Week coming up (8th – 13th October 2017), it is imperative to reflect on this.
The phenomenon also filters through to our communication, one of the fundamental cogs in the clockwork of community. It can become a disjointed, misunderstanding where the electronic message is incorrectly translated into a totally different meaning the sender actually meant it – something that might never have occurred in a simple face-to-face conversation. On the other hand, communication can be improved and heightened with a more instant dialogue in real time, giving us access to people all over the world. However, striking a balance and juggling this can be tough, it can affect relationships and make us feel detached and alone.
It is no surprise that research has shown the now deeply rooted technology/social media concept has had an effect on our populations’ mental health. A 2010 National Psychology Survey showed feelings of a need to log on to social media sites several times a day and the feeling like they’ve wasted time. Time, something so precious in a world we commonly are time poor.
Furthermore, being able to contact so many people, so frequently, there is also an unrealistic expectation that develops surrounding how often we check in with friends, family and acquaintances. The constant update of someone’s life on social media can be fantastic to keep up with the lives of others. However, with this also comes another unrealistic expectation of knowing what’s going on with everyone. The bombardment on our virtual world can take away from our real world – again I ask, how can we do this in moderation because, don’t get me wrong, technology and social media is awesome and has many positives too! Increased social participation can lead to an improvement in self-esteem.
Well, I am not going to be able to give you all the answers, but there are people out there that can help… https://www.qldmentalhealthweek.org.au/find-help/
At Family Clean we value the incredible worth of simply chatting face-to-face and hearing each other out. We take time to sit down each week as a team to share a long, healthy lunch and de-brief on work and life in general, because there is only so much an email or instant message can do, right? Life is busy, so if you need more time to simply chat face-to-face more with family and friends, give us a call today and we’ll be able to help you out.