The Digital Disconnect from Reality

Not feeling real? You’re not alone. Scientists are studying the all-too-real sense of disconnect in a digital-heavy life.

Is Facebook making us lonely?

Are we losing our connection to nature?

Is social media destroying our real relationships?

These are just a few of the questions spurring scientific research, according to the folks at Feel the Real, sponsored by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

They point to several articles, like The Atlantic’sIs Facebook Making us Lonely” and The RSPR’sConnection Measure” to demonstrate some of the ways that digital could be having both qualitative and quantitative adverse impacts on our lives

“For the first time, this research – reported in Connecting with Nature – reveals how connected to nature children are across the UK. The national results show that currently only 21 percent of 8 to 12-year-olds have a connection to nature level that we consider a realistic and achievable target for all children,” notes the RSPR piece.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic’s article paints a bleak picture indeed of current society, saying we have “outsourced the work of everyday caring.” Yikes.

Yes, we know the ultimate end game here is to sell outdoor advertising, and Feel the Real does this brilliantly. Their point, one that is well taken I believe, is that people will stop and notice what seems “real” to them. The human condition compels us to seek for those real connections, and increasingly we are disappointed with the ones we find in our devices.

Food for thought.