Sociology: experiment of disconnection
To start with, I believe that disconnection from virtual networks is a unique opportunity worth trying for several reasons such as freedom and new opportunities. I consider virtual networks and social reality a powerful addiction for people who are not self-confident and consequently cannot resist virtual temptations. Only a strong and highly motivated personality can plan his time wisely and separate the virtual reality from real life.
During first few hours, I experienced the lack of social communication. I was disconnected from the world and felt like I was missing something essential. I felt that if I meet anyone of my friends, I might be odd in their company. I even thought that they might disrespect me because of my passive life in social networks. However, then I understood that it does not matter at all since it is a stupid reason to disrespect a person. The experiment helped me to reconsider some things and appreciate the real life. What is more, later I could appreciate nature and general things, which we usually disregard and ignore. This statement may be typical; however, I have seen forest or flowers only on the Internet recently.
The positive result of this experience is the feeling of freedom. I felt free from checking my account every time I see a new notification. I was free from my friends` messages and the obligation to answer them every time. I was free from checking the news, photos of my acquaintances and people whom I hardly know. Furthermore, I realized that I am the owner of my time and can plan the day the way I want. I can easily meet with anyone from my social network page and discuss anything in real time.
The most negative consequence of living in virtual reality is the waste of time for your own life. You are like a prisoner who is constantly involved in the lives of other people. If you disregard any message or popular event, you will be considered a cold-blooded and unkind person. You may even lose your friends. The worst thing is that you cannot enjoy your own life fully. Virtual networks change your personality and attitude to life because you become lazier and more indifferent to life. Furthermore, social networks have their own rules, which restrict our activities and do not correlate with our lifestyle. We usually get accustomed to virtual life and its rules. We are like in the circle that is very difficult to leave.
I relate this study to the article “Motivational, Emotional and Behavioral Correlates of Fear of Missing out”. Some participants of the experiment experienced the fear of missing something and did not obtain any satisfaction from the social network usage (Przybylski, 2003). On the one hand, the users constantly stay in touch with their friends. It is one of the cheapest ways to get in touch and share common memories and messages. On the other hand, the participants did not get real enjoyment since they missed real life and the events being not able to follow them on-line. In fact, some people miss crucial events and think that they can see the photos that will compensate their absence at the weddings and anniversaries.
Finally, my conclusion is that I should find a golden middle and try to reduce the usage of social networks as I find it more enjoyable to communicate and organize some activities with friends in real life. I do not consider it an obligation to post all my photos and personal memories. I do not have to share them with everyone. People should stay away from technologies to some extent and learn how to use them reasonably. Otherwise, they will only remain characters in social networks, not more.
Przybylski, A. (2003, April 9). Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out. ScinceDirect, 29, 1841-1848.