A man suddenly died in an Internet cafe right after having a Facebook argument with his girlfriend, underscoring how our tech-obsessed – yet increasingly disconnected – society is replacing real life with social media.
John Frederick Warnaca, 47, of Fresno, Calif., was found dead by authorities at a cafe in Quiapo, Manila, on Wednesday after other user noticed he was leaning over in his seat without moving.
“Based on his recent activity on his Facebook account, Warnaca was talking to a Filipina, believed to be his girlfriend,” ABS CBN news reported. “Their online conversation also showed that the two had an argument before Warnaca died.”
The sad incident brings attention to how social media users are placing more emphasis on online conversations at the expense of face-to-face communication.
People under 30, for example, are getting so addicted to social media apps on their cell phones that they miss out on important events in real life.
“People miss out on parties because they want to see what’s going on, on social networks, take beautiful selfies and add filters to their pictures,” said Julian Kabab, co-founder of FlashGap, a photo-sharing application with more than 150,000 users.
Kabab asked nearly 3,000 users about how they felt about social media in social settings, and found that 76% of females check social media platforms at least 10 times when out with friends, compared with 54% of males.
“FlashGap’s findings echo a similar study conducted in 2014, where research suggested that cell phones were increasingly undermining personal interactions. The widely circulated Virginia Tech University report said that ‘the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections,’” CNBC reported.
Another recent study revealed that social media is as addictive as drugs.
“With a Facebook addiction, you are doing something that in your estimation is going to make you feel part of the group, and like you belong and are valued, so you get a little hit from that,” psychotherapist Simon Jacobs said to the Daily Mail. “It is the same sort of hit you get from a Class A drug, it may not be as extreme but the same process is happening, the same dopamine release.”