With Facebook , Google+ , Twitter and some other social networking sites around , we all are sought of surrounded by heavily dense networks that have made a virtual world which has a deep impact on our social lives. Social Networking sites are making the world more anti social. This statement remains a debatable topic as some still enjoy spending endless hours on social networks where those who have plenty of it know that using it in a limited manner is the best way out . Facebook holds around 80% of social net-worker’s around the globe storing tremendous amount of data every day, and still is the easiest way to connect with your friends . In spite of ease of connecting with people a question still remains ” Is Facebook Making us Lonely ? “.
We live in a world of technology , where our reach is growing broader and broader day by day but our connections are growing shallower. We live in more isolation than before but still we have never been more accessible. Everyday new modes of socializing are coming up but all they are doing is creating a void society , with less and less of actual society . But lets be specific here , lets talk of Facebook and how it is effecting the quality of our lives.
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook with a single idea that was to bring the world closer and i think he has done this to a great extent. Facebook surely is a idea of century , but something that has accompanied is its ” Addiction ” . Judge Facebook as a person , or a site o a culture , in any form its unimaginable. By the end of 2011 Facebook became the first website ever to receive 1 trillion page vies in a month. Users generate around 2 billion likes and comments everyday. With millions of pics being uploaded , shared every day , one can imagine the vastness of this entire data . Facebook stores it all for you. There has never been such a platform to share and stay connected. But ultimately its grown into a need rather than option .
” Its the quality not quantity of our social relations that predicts our loneliness “
This concept looks more prominent since Facebook era or when Facebook overtook the world of social media. Facebook is no doubt the best source available to connect to people, to share knowledge, enhance your social media presence ( for webmasters ) , to connect with your friends, but important thing is having more number of friends on Facebook does not makes u more popular or interesting. All it does is that it widens the reach of your virtual world at stake of your relations in the real world.
Researches have given some interesting facts. Kids of age group 15-19 are most addicted to Facebook . Many parental control videos have been quite viral of late showing how Facebook has turned teens into a internet maniac. Well as far as i remember when i was 15 nothing in he world was more exciting to m then to go play basketball at all time . But kids today prefer chatting with friends, strangers, flirting, sharing personal information . When it comes to age groups 19-23 , it was found that lonely people spend more time on Facebook then the one who had some one in their life or are less lonely. This seems true as people spend time looking for some one they can share their talks with. And connecting being so easy ultimately the void grows as virtual relations work for only a few days or a month.
My View : Personally i don’t blame Facebook. Its about what we give to Facebook . There are two ways of communicating on Facebook. First one being ” One click communication or LIKE ” and Second one is ” Private Messaging ” . The more preferred way of communicating should be via personalized messages the lazy clicking of like that goes unnoticed in most of the cases. Receiving a message from some one is more satisfying . So its all about what you bring in to Facebook. Always try to make strong relationships . Value your time on the site and help it grow you socially, mentally and psychologically . A status update is just like what part of ourselves shall we portray in order to impress our friends and pseudo friends. Its more of not what you are but what you appear to be.
Maintaining a balance between online life and real life is important. Just don’t skip on one for the other. The people who experience loneliness on Facebook are lonely away from Facebook too .
Being alone And Loneliness are two different things
True, they are totally different . One can be lonely in a a crowded party and solitude can be lovely . But i think both are on a rise. People prefer to stay alone rather than with others and those who have people around them are still lonely. When you sign up for social networks like Facebook , Google+ , it often asks you to ” include only your real friends “ . Facebook asks you that ” do you know the person or not ? ”
These little phrases which are in bold defines the real threats behind these social networks. Are you making real friends , real relationships or is it just adding upto your virtual world. The depth of one’s network outside Facebook decides the depth of your relations on Facebook. The bottom line is ” Are these Social Networks creating the isolation they are designed to conquer. ”
Loneliness Is not what Facebook’s gift , its what we are bringing to ourselves
Yes this is true . Its not Facebook, twitter or other social media that is bringing loneliness to us. But its we ourselves , who welcome loneliness inspite of the fact its making us more miserable. It has become so easy to access any one, a look at their Facebook profile will tell more or less everything about them. This ease has just made us give up on looking for meaningful friendship or relationships in real life as virtual relationships are just at our access all the time. Managing one self is the only way possible to make a balance between online relationships and real world meaningful relationships.
Spending too much time on Facebook is always at one of the two expense. Either you give up the time you could spend with your friends or you give up the time you could spend with your family. I just fear that we are designing ourselves to meet the requirements of digital model of us. What more dangerous is that we may leach humanity in this process .
Some amazing stats about Facebook
The real danger of Facebook is not only that it creates isolation, but it the continuous effort we make to portray a part of ourselves which we want others to like, talk about, notice. In this process what we forget is what we actually are with in, what are our goals . Solitude required to self access , self reinvent , self re-evaluate has been replaced by a dense network of social media around us which makes us so much accessible that moments of peaceful solitude has become rare .
Whats truly striking about Facebook is not the amount of data it stores or that is uploaded daily ( 700 million photos everyday ) – but it is the constancy of these events every day. 1 of 13 people on earth is a Facebook user. More than half of its users log in every day . Half of 16-25 age group members check their Facebook minutes after they get up , and most of them even do before getting out of bed. The willingness to know whats news, whats trans-formative has created a sort of addiction which has overtaken the time for self reflection and all it has left is portraying a part of ourselves which actually we are not.
While reading a article other day , i came across these beautiful line ,” The insecurity of our relationships and anxiousness for intimacy is what leads us to technology to look for alternates . But what we forget is that ties we form on internet are not the ties we bind in the end .” Keeping that in mind will help us to be thoughtful about the kind of relationships we want and value. Be more clear about your thoughts that will help you be more strong about your decisions both online and offline.
The more you try to be happy, the less happy you are !
This statement is actually true and Facebook is all about pretending to be someone worth liked and noticed by others. Being happy in real life will have no effect on your online life. But being on Facebook to escape real life loneliness will create more and more empty space in both your online and offline venture.
Curating the exhibition of self has become a 24/7 occupation. Studies have shown that Facebook users are more engaged in self promoting and superficial behavior then non Facebook users. This is surely due to the way we portray ourselves on social networks. Remember the movie ” The Social Network “. The last and the most important scene of the movie was when Mark sends friend request to his ex girlfriend and waits. Then he reloads the page over and over again waiting looking at the screen for response. Actually we all have been in that scene , at some time looking at the screen hungering for response confused between what is real and what is virtual.
What Facebook has revealed about human nature !
Nostalgia for good old days of less hype and connection is not pointless. I would love to go to my school days with no Facebook and Twitter around. What Facebook has revealed about human nature is the fact that ” Connections are not the same as bonds and no instant connection can be your ticket to happiness or shot at happiness, neither its a way to liberated version of humanity. All Facebook is doing is making up for the time we should have spend talking to our friends in real life, going out with our family and friends, time spend on self reflection and in solitude. That mental piece of mind seems to be eluding as this addiction is growing day by day.
Facebook denies us the pleasure whose gravity is lost somewhere in the days where we seemed to remember “ WE ARE NOT GADGETS ”