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How many hours a day do you think we spend on technology? Do you feel like tech has taken over our lives and human interaction? Would you say it was a good thing or a bad thing? The debate on whether or not technology has allowed us to be more connected, or disconnected, is one that has been the subject of many debates, especially in popular culture.

Netflix’s latest animated film, Next Gen, follows the story of a lonely girl and a top-secret robot who embark on a thrilling adventure to take on bullies, evil bots, and a scheming madman.

Charlie Booker’s television series, Black Mirror is an example. The show focusses on people’s interaction with technology, the media, communications, and how our obsessions and behaviours today might manifest into horror in the future. Episodes like The Entire History (Season 1, Ep 3) explores the idea of having a microchip installed in our eyes, which could playback any memory in our history. Sure, it may sound great but Black Mirror goes on to explore just how badly it can go wrong. Then there’s Be Right Back (Season 2, Ep2) which addresses the idea of lost love and an A.I. version taking their place. And then, a personal fave, Nosedive (Season 3, Ep1) which tells the cautionary tale of obsession with phones, social media and our need for “likes”.

It’s this episode that is most like the short-animation by illustrator and animator, Steve Cutts, Are You Lost in the World Like Me? The black and white film shows a young kid roaming around the city trying to get the attention of the crowd – but to no avail as they all walk around far too engrossed in their phones to care. Cutts said: “I see a lot of insanity in the way we live, and to progress I think we need to become more aware and look at the options we have as a society more clearly …”.

Watch the animation below:

So, is pop culture’s assessment of technology fair? Team Mobi don’t think so. We’re technology optimists and we feel that in the face of “tech anxieties” or “tech critique” we should highlight all the good human connections made possible because of technology.

Our lives are becoming more connected, and we can’t deny it’s a phenomenon enabled and driven by technology. From the invention of the telephone, all the way to SnapChat, we get to share our memories and connect with people so much easier today.  Although nothing does the trick like an in-person visit or interaction, maintaining close connections is certainly easier across digital media than missing the other person completely.

Team Mobi comes from all corners of the world, so technology plays a big part in keeping us connected with our loved ones.

Here’s what some of Team Mobi had to say about our favourite ways to “tech-connect” with people:

 “These days I’m seeing the use of *WhatsApp* a lot…but if not, when it’s personal it’s still the good ‘ol SMS” – Mike (India)

“Love love love FaceTime. I get to have lunch with my family every Sunday, even though they’re all the way in South Africa.” – Michel’le (South Africa)

“Most of my family is in India and we talk on a daily basis. I’m all for Whatsapp. Very easy to send text or make audio/video calls.” – Hamsa (India)

“My closest group of friends all use Signal for chat, group chat, and voice calls. I’m on a couple of private Slack groups with more extended friend/acquaintance groups. But my first and foremost favourite way to connect with people … red wine.” – Iain (Australia)

“I use Facebook to keep in touch with family in Croatia, Italy and America. And Skype.” – Visnja (Croatia)

“Have you heard of BOTIM? You can’t use Whatsapp in some countries so it’s a cool alternative.” – MJ (India)

“Viber – I feel it’s faster than the other apps and also nicer. I do have all the other apps, except for FB Messenger because that is extremely slow and I hate FB anyway.” – Zoltan (Russia)

“I’m usually terrible at connecting with my family but when I do I use Whatsapp”. – Thiago (Brazil)

“I mostly make phone calls and send messages, especially as I have unlimited messages. I also play a lot of playstation, especially Grand Theft Auto, and I play multiplayer mode so I’m able to connect with other players from around the world”. – Meng (China)

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