Vice President’s Column #124

A few days ago my mom came to visit me, and we had a great day together. In the afternoon we sat down at a cafe and had one of those famous Swedish “fika”. The cafe was crowded but quiet. There were a lot of people there, but almost everyone had a phone in their hand or a laptop beside them. In that moment we realized that we were the only ones at the cafe socializing with each other. By that time it really hit me that we are born in to a world with no demands of actually hanging out and spending time with each other.

I cannot help asking myself: Is this dangerous for us, and how does this affect the human being? After thinking about it for a while I guess my answer would be; as long as we are comfortable with it, it will not hurt us.

We are born in to a world where digitalization is almost impossible to avoid. I believe that the actual digitalization itself is not necessarily what affects us negatively, but the impacts that comes along with it. From having a phone that was stuck onto the wall, to being able to answer it with your watch. From being able to only call each other, to reaching out to the whole world with one click. The progression of the digitalization has made us dependent on its consequences. When you realize you do not have your phone next to you, you become stressed instead of enjoying the present. I feel these are the unpleasant consequences of digitalization.

In essence, try to put your phone aside for an hour or two and talk to the person in front of you instead. And next time you are visiting a café, do not forget to interact with one another, not only with you computer.

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