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Happiness: Does Technology Compete With Happiness? (You Bet)

When people rely on technology to connect with people they limit their level of happiness โ€“ the kind that only happens in face-to-face encounters (and I do not mean video phone to video phone).

Traveling across the United States brought to my attention the very widespread use of technology on a practically non-stop basis. It appears that people are either afraid to be out of touch with their personal and business contacts OR they are so addicted to the gadgets they suffer withdrawal when they cannot use them.

Ride the metro rail in the Washington, D.C. area to witness that separation between people. Most people are either on their smart phones or iPads. People rarely speak to anyone in their presence or nearby vicinity.

Some restaurants post notices banning the use of cell phones.

Did you ever see a group of friends (I label friends because they come and go together), each one on a cell phone talking to somebody who is some place other than with them!

Today while flying across the country I noticed that people talked early in the flight โ€“ you know, during the take-off period while the plane climbs to cruising altitude and you cannot use electronics.

Upon reaching the cruising altitude most people fell silent as phones and computers lit up across the plane.

No. Not every person โ€“ many people.

For the final half hour of the flight, again when electronics go off, you could hear the buzz of conversation.

Interesting, yes?

Technology keeps people in their homes getting to know people on the other side of the country or the globe. How many people talk to or even know their next-door neighbors?