Hyperconnection and its Consequences
Godfried Boogaard said, “In the past, you were what you had. Now you are what you share”. This quote related to the term hyperconnection didn’t come from just anyone, but from a specialist in social networks.
Millions of people, especially young people, feel an irrepressible desire to always be connected. Social media networks gain more users on a daily basis.
What is hyperconnection?
No one has defined the term officially yet. However, specialists use it more and more every day. It refers to the constant urge to be connected on social media. According to a study published in the prestigious journal Psychological Science, the need to be connected to the Internet and social networks is stronger than cigarette or alcohol addictions and the desire for sex.
Wilhelm Hofmann and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota conducted that study along with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The results showed that the participants’ urge to be on social networks was stronger than their desire to eat or sleep.
It’s evident that hyperconnection can be a problem. Today, we’re exposed to constant online stimuli. Always being connected becomes a problem when we’re not able to disconnect. Studies estimate that some people who exhibit hyperconnection can log more than 240 hours per year on the Internet.
Consequences of hyperconnection
Most people find it difficult to not check their phone or tablet for just one hour. According to the data, 75% of people who own a smartphone use it even when they’re in the bathroom. This means that they spend most of their days on their devices.
Thus, new technologies that can make it easy for us to do many things at once like send texts, check email, access social media, and sometimes even talk to people are risk factors for hyperconnection.
The impact of information overload
Being exposed to constant information leads to high stress levels. This also causes functional difficulties.
The lack of wholesome information is one of the most serious problems. We receive a lot of information daily, but not all of it is good or appropriate. Therefore, it can be dangerous for children, whose minds haven’t fully developed yet, to have access to all of this information.
It’s important to educate young people in identifying what’s real and what’s fake. Otherwise, they’ll absorb a huge amount of junk content.
“The Internet allows creation in a network, beyond the sum of individualities.”
Hyperconnection also leads to more infidelity and misunderstandings in couples. In fact, many studies show an increase in the number of break-ups and marital problems due to the Internet.
Impact on self-esteem
This phenomenon also has a strong impact on self-esteem. It mainly affects adolescents, who naturally create their own identities and seek affirmation of that identity.
Personal relationships play a huge role in teens’ identity development. Therefore, superficial online relationships cause insecurity, poor self-image, and an inconsistent personality.
“You are what you tweet.”
If you go on a social network and begin to think that everyone else’s life is more interesting than yours, you should stop for a minute and check yourself. How many hours a day do you spend on your phone or tablet? You may need to disconnect and just enjoy your life.