What is the connection between social media and loneliness?
by Katherine Caminero
I stumbled upon this video today on Facebook (ironic) and it definitely gave me some insight on social media and the sociologic impact it is having on the human mind.
In today’s society the individual is measured by:
- personal achievements
- a self image
otherwise known as, the self-actualization ideal.
To achieve this self-actualization goal, many individuals loose their social connections on the way. Being that we live in a Western society that praises individualism, this individualistic approach is weakening social connections and an increasing amount of people are characterizing themselves as lonely.
One of the reasons for the increase in loneliness is the rise of online social networking. Over the years, it has revolutionized the personal and professional lives of millions, becoming the empire of new relationships, communication and self-promotion. Being that time is a crucial factor for the working individual, technology has become an simple and organized way for us to keep up with our social circles most effectively.
However, the way in which we socialize is changing. Social networking is developing what we are doing and who we are. As shown in this video, we are guilty of collecting friends like stamps where quantity has become more important than quality and the intimacy in a friendly conversation are mostly seen in chats, sacrificing conversation for connection. What is different about conversation is that it takes place in current time and there is no control over what to say next, something not seen in texting, emails or posts.
Being able to edit and delete on our social media pages give us the ability to self-promote the way in which we want to be seen by others. We rely on technology to define ourselves. We choose pictures in which we look our best, we are constantly building our profiles and we share our thoughts right as they are happening. Instead of assembling true friendships, we are obsessed with self-promotion and this is what drives us to become lonely. We find to expect less from others and more from technology.
Technology gives us the fantasy that we never have to be alone and is shaping the new way of being.
I share, therefore, I am.