“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This quote is repeated for a reason. Words definitely have power, but a single image can succinctly capture a moment, situation, a scene – or even emotions.
Technology and the internet have made talking and writing each other so much easier when one considers every day typical communications as well as social media posts and comments, blogs, text messages, and emails. However, all this “talking” is somehow leading to a society in which people truly connect less than before technology took over.
It’s a situation that is difficult to explain with words. How can people be connected or interacting yet be — well, detached?
As a final project, student created a short animation called “Avoidance” in an attempt to illustrate this concept and tell the story of how technology can get in the way of truly being and interacting with another person – something that seems tough to do with words. She didn’t even include dialogue. Just images of people going throughout their day, interacting with their gadgets and essentially ignoring each other.
How do you feel about the animation? Have you experienced this detachment or avoidance in your own life? Would you say this aptly depicts aspects of society’s addiction to the internet, video games, smartphones, and technology in general?
Why is any of this important?
Whether people realize it or not technology is having an effect on them, so much so that some people may have an internet addiction. Research into this new and growing problem shows that internet addiction has physical, mental and emotional effects. These include “rewiring” brains, causing feelings of anxiety when not online, and ignoring responsibilities – and relationships. Internet addiction can cause someone to withdraw from friends and family.
Excessive internet and technology use does not necessarily equate to internet addiction. However, people need to recognize how their constant use changes the dynamics of relationships with others and has a variety of affects. People can end up feeling alone even when in the same room with another person.
Adolescents are possibly open to more harm because mental, emotional, and physical developments are at their height during the teen years and continue into their 20s. They should be learning healthy socialization skills, etc., but this, other life skills and learning processes are affected by constant connection to technology, the internet, smartphones, video games, etc.
When Help Is Needed: Wilderness Therapy
As said, internet and technology overuse is only one aspect of internet addiction, but should it happen, more than will power to overcome a bad habit might be called for. Internet addiction can be accompanied by other issues, such as depression or low self-esteem. It’s a complex situation that requires attention to each issue making finding a program that’s able to do so very important. Programs have been set up to address internet addiction specifically, but wilderness therapy has been helpful as well.
Pacific Quest, a holistic wilderness therapy program in Hawaii, has been able to help those adolescents and young adults feeling depressed, anxious, and trapped by their internet, video game, and tech addictions.
Pacific Quest is a well-rounded program that aims to empower students by teaching them life skills, healthy habits, and ways to cope with their issues and everyday pressures, such as the internet. It’s about learning to live a healthy, balanced life.