When I taught communication I noticed how rare it is. Communication is not data transfer; it’s an intimate link between two people who each accept that the other is a human being, just like them, and what he or she is communicating to them is as important as what they are communicating, whether or not they agree or like or adore the other person.
Without regular communication with other people, people become sick: they report feeling lonely and joyless, with thoughts of suicide. The more hours per day they spend alone and online, the worse the effect.
Spending hours a day on social media robs them of communication, exercise and sleep, so they feel worse each day. Communicating is high-risk, so to avoid the danger of having one’s feelings hurt, children use the phone, to stay at a distance and in control, and then fewer and fewer use the phone because it’s too intimate for comfort. Anonymous comments, Twitter and texting do not involve communication: they are risk-free data transfer.
Depression and suicide have risen sharply in the decade since the Smartphone began being accepted as an addictive, expensive necessity.