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Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

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This article discusses the disadvantages of speaking with people through technology rather than speaking with them face to face. He brings up the story of Yvette Vickers who was a Playboy playmate as well as a B- movie star. She was best known for her role in Attack of the 50-Foot Women, Yvette died and no one knew how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report she was dead for about a year until her neighbor, who was a fellow actress named Susan Savage, realized there was cobwebs on the mailbox and went in to find the body mummified on the floor with the computer open next to her. She became very popular after she died and was portrayed as the icon for loneliness. Even though Vickers was very devoted to her fans she interacted with them through social network rather than meeting them face to face. That’s what Marche feels has happened to us, we now think social media is the best way to communicate with people rather than going out and seeing them. He feels people who spend most of their time on devices and social media lack confidence to talk to people in person.

Facebook is a huge reason for all of this. Last year Facebook had about 845 million users and had revenue of 3.7 billion dollars. Some estimates say that Facebook’s potential could reach as high as 100 billion dollars, which would make it larger than the coffee industry. So in a way you’re switching one addiction with another. We get so caught up that we can stare at the screen for hours hungering for a response or a like. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, wrote: “Reams of published research show that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interaction that predicts loneliness. Loneliness in society is at an all-time high, people would rather tweet and text than meet up with friends and hang out. Many people think loneliness and being alone are the same but they’re not. Solidarity isn’t a bad thing; it means you like peace and quiet. Loneliness on the other hands is more of a physiological state that people suffer from. Loneliness is at an all-time high, according to a major study by a leading scholar 20 percent of Americans suffer from loneliness which is about 60 million people.

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