Can You Lose Touch With Reality if You Spend Too Much Time Online?
If you are spending too much time playing games online throughout the whole day, then the answer is – yes. It is entirely possible to be oblivious to what’s going on in the real world if you choose to ignore it. However, that is not exactly the question here now, is it? What if you are just browsing the web, going through social media feed, or watching videos etc.
Truth be told that content is often related to what is going on, or it’s straight-up news of what happened lately. Wouldn’t that imply that you are more informed about what is going on, because you spend so much time online? Furthermore, we often socialize while we are online, therefore it’s not like we are not interacting with other people right? Well, let’s take a bit deeper dive into this topic to find out.
We are always online
Nowadays, we are practically married to our smartphones and get notifications every 5 minutes or so, it’s either a message, news update, shopping notification etc. We are constantly receiving updates and even major news through our phones. However, there is also a problem with that.
Our phones or apps that we use are designed to make us interact with them constantly, and want to draw our attention. This is actually a very serious topic that was thoroughly explored in the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma, so I encourage you to watch that movie. The main issue here is not that we lose touch with reality, but that our perception of reality gets skewed.
How online world moulds our perception
Whenever we visit a website, watch a video, or even interact with an online ad, our behaviour or interaction is translated to the signals that are processed through various algorithms. If we like something or spend more time on that website that behaviour is noted if we like or dislike a video that is noted if we watch or close the ad that is also noted. All of these signals help the algorithm create a more personalized online experience for us.
In a relatively short time span, we start to see content that we find more appealing, interesting and engaging, and we receive more relevant notifications or content suggestions. There is nothing too bad about this when it comes to clothing, or food-related updates, however, we are also likely to hear news more tailored to our views of the world, and that is what skews our perception.
Online portals are pretty liberal when it comes to content, and not everything someone posts or writes needs to have solid facts that back it up. Thanks to these algorithms, fake news spread a lot faster than actual news, and conspiracy theories can run wild. In fact, a lot of people firmly believe nowadays that the earth is flat, and they are stuck in an online bubble that only positively reinforces this illusion.
So, if you want to avoid falling into fabricated theories, make sure you do additional research while you process new information, otherwise, too much time online will affect your vision of reality.