Social media is often purported as enabling greater human connection than ever before, but a new survey suggests that technology can actually have the opposite effect.
More than half of Brits say that they have fewer personal conversations than they did five years ago, with the average person admitting they can go more than 24 hours without speaking to a single soul in person.
In fact, real, honest, face-to-face human interaction is still the primary route for connecting with others, with nearly three quarters believing that a real life meeting is the best way to get to know someone.
“Technology has made our lives more convenient, and we are supposedly more connected than ever before,” says psychologist Dr Spelman, commenting on the research by Novotel. “But our research suggests that, despite having more ways to interact with one another, we are beginning to feel the absence of that particular connection we experience when we speak face to face.
“With all our tech we mustn’t overlook the importance of honest, from the heart human interactions with one another. A simple conversation can have a real impact, and is a great way to show that you care and really want to engage.”
Spelman added: “It can be hard to admit to being lonely, and yet loneliness is one of the commonest of human emotions. We evolved as a social species and it is natural for us to want to seek out others and be with them.
“Modern technology can be a bridge between people — but it can also be a barrier that separates them. Face-to-face contact with others is actually very important for our mental health, so it’s wise to make time to see others, and to communicate with them in a meaningful way."