Fear of being offline, the consequence of the dependence on new technologies

New technologies are a really useful tool that facilitate both the work of adults and the studies of young people. At the same time, they also shorten distances between family and friends who live far away. Although in some cases this pragmatism has become a dependence of these devices that makes the individual does not know how to function in an environment where he is disconnected from the internet and from his digital world.

In fact, in many cases there is a fear of staying offline. A consequence derived more from the dependence of new technologies and that usually rebound in summer. During the summer season, many families make trips to places where it is not possible to access the Internet, something that generates especially in young people a feeling of nervousness when faced with this disconnection of their mute online.


Afraid to miss something

The new technologies have also brought us a new space Where to create a circle of friends: social networks. These platforms serve many young people to interact with classmates or other acquaintances. In these places the new generations share videos, texts, chat through the chat rooms, comment on the material uploaded to the internet, etc.

However, when leaving, the joden may face a trip where he does not have this connection to the internet or where the activities to be performed do not allow him to attend social networks. In these cases, what actually happens is that the young person feels fear of losing something, this is what is known as FOMO, for its acronym in English: 'Fear Of Missing Out' which could be translated as the panic to stay out, not to learn the same as the rest who surf the net.


The young person understands the disconnection of these social networks as a goodbye to your social life. Think that if you do not interact with the rest, they will put you aside or be in a disadvantaged position. As a study from the University of Essex shows, the first symptom of this fear is anxiety, the constant remorse about what the young person will be missing while not participating in social networks.

Social validation

Another result derived from this fear is the sensation of not be validated socially on the part of the young man. By not interacting with the rest, the individual has the feeling of having ceased to exist. Not being in social networks is the same as having lost all contact with your friends and this is the origin of the anxiety and apathy of the youngest.

This in some cases also means that during family trips, young people look for a place where they can connect to the internet, something that worries them more than enjoying their relatives. The objective is to share material of these holidays to get the acceptance of the rest. A dependency that prevents everyone from sharing this time together so hard to repeat the rest of the year.


But holidays can also help young people disconnect in this regard. Here are some tips for this:

- Disconnection plan. Parents should anticipate an activity that does not lead to the connection of young people to these networks. Keeping them distracted is the goal, for this nothing better than to make them participants in the planning of activities.

- Curfew. Family nights should be further enhanced during vacations. After a certain hour, the use of smartphones and other technologies with which to connect must be prohibited.

- Be inflexible. Probably the same anxiety of the young man makes him face his parents at the thought of disconnecting. But parents must be firm and not give in, in the end this attitude will end up happening.

- Lead by example. Parents may also be tempted to send photos to their contacts. We must remember that the time devoted to these matters is not dedicated to the family, which is who is really on vacation. There will be time to show the pictures on the way back.

Damián Montero

Video: Why our screens make us less happy | Adam Alter


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