It is difficult to go anywhere in the United States and not see technology. Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and it does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. From smartphones to the massive World Wide Web, technology is all around us.

Due to an increased exposure to technology, many people have started to wonder if it is increasing our risk of #Social Isolation and depression. While technology is beneficial and makes it easier to communicate with people across the world and even improve the efficiency in several tasks, it can also have a negative impact on our brains according to researchers. Could technology really be affecting our daily routines?

Increased social isolation

The former Google design ethicist, Tristan Harris, believes that technology is manipulating us.

He says that technology encourages people to immerse in #social media for longer periods of time rather than using the internet for productivity purposes. For example, social media apps like Pinterest and Instagram send notifications and encourage people to post more photos or content for more “likes.” Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. When people “like” the things others post, they get instant gratification.

Also, a new feature of Facebook and a long-time feature of Instagram allows videos to automatically begin playing as a user is scrolling through the feed. The feature intrigues viewers and encourages them to stay on the social media site longer to view the video. Furthermore, when one clicks on a video on Facebook, they can then keep scrolling to view more related videos, thus giving them more screen time.

The new features and constant need for attention can cause us to become more isolated from the people physically around us.

More screen time means more depression

While social media can be a great source for keeping in touch with #Friends And Family, it can also fill our heads with doubt and unrealistic expectations. On social media, someone is able to choose the parts of their life they want to show their audience. In other words, someone could post photos and statuses showing that they are traveling around the country, but they have no place to call home, so they must travel around. Yet, from our view, it seems as though this person is living out the traveling dreams we all have.

By comparing our lives to the lives of people we see online, we increase our risk of depression. We may develop negative thoughts and start believing that our own lives are insignificant and uneventful. ABC News journalist. Suzanne Yeo, wrote an article earlier this year on the pressures many adolescent girls feel while using social media.

Many of the girls interviewed said they felt like they were in competition with other girls to be beautiful and to have an exciting social life.

Final thoughts

To conclude, social media creates many problems in today’s generation. New features encourage users to use sites and apps for longer periods of time. This provides more opportunity for people to compare themselves to others, rather than spending physical, uninterrupted time with real people.

Furthermore, too many comparisons can result in increased depression and feelings of not being good enough for other people. We crave attention and acceptance from others. As a result, we constantly feel like it is us against the world as we try to match the experiences of our friends and family members.