Focus & Digital Balance

Blogging about Digital Detox and unplugging, customizing our connectivity, new technologies, distraction management, and a healthy lifestyle in our hyperconnected world

Why We Are Together but Feel Alone

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Umar Zulqarnain’s reflection “Why We Are Together but Feel Alone” considers technology’s impact on our relationships with other people. It was originally published on the Huffington Post. Republished with friendly permission.

Over the past few years I have gradually become very antisocial. I remember a time when I always wanted to be „connected“ to the world, to be talking to people, to be around people. I began to find that I preferred time to myself in quiet contemplation. I began to prefer my own company. It was time I could spend attempting to look within myself, to learn about myself. Recently, when I decided to delve back into the social realm, I was in for a surprise. The more people I would meet and talk to, the more I would see recurring patterns. It was an unexpected opportunity to learn about myself and others.

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Why can’t we switch off? Social Media is the new Junk Food


Social Media is the new Junk Food—and it is even more powerful. To many people, social media has become as important as food and sex. While our desire for food and sex seems to have a clear reason, our need for social media and the digital is not that obvious. To make it more apparent, I will go into more detail in the following. Also, similar to too much (junk) food, too much (junk) information is not beneficial for our health and well-being. While there are already some solutions to help us to deal with this, we need more of those solutions—and we have to develop and use a new form of technology, technology that doesn’t exploit us, but that supports us.

The following blog post goes hand in hand with a spontaneous TEDx talk I gave at TEDxEutropolis 2013 – “Are we connected?”. You can watch it online here or read the whole argument in full length below.  Continue reading