Calendar Forums Project #2 Project#2, essay


Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #453
    Anastasia Khaye

    Anastasia Khaye

    Eng. 2150

    Prof. Rice-Evans

    <b>Does social media life make us lonely? </b>


    It would seem that social networks satisfy one of the most important human needs – the ability to communicate. With different people from around the world. But the results of the experience at the University of Michigan surprised even scientists. 82 respondents five times a day answered the question “how lonely do you feel now?”, asked directly through a social network. Based on the responses, psychologists concluded: the more time you spend online, the more lonely you feel, and hundreds of virtual friends only increase the feeling of emptiness.

    But the treatment of the same question directly or by telephone significantly improved the mood of the participants in the experiment. Therefore, if you want to fill your life with positive emotions, it is better to go to a nearby cafe and start a conversation with one of the visitors. Moreover, next to the bar you can more often see the inspirational inscription: “We do not have wi-fi. Talk to each other!”


    <i>The feeling of loneliness and the time that we spend on social networks are somehow connected.</i>

    Researches talk about social networks, that they contribute to bringing people closer, socializing, helping to get rid of loneliness, etc. However, about the same social networks you can hear something completely opposite – that in them we lose touch with other people, lose the ability to enjoy socializing and driving ourselves into isolation.

    In favor of the “isolating” actions of social networks, it seems that the results published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine – in an article by Brian Primack and his colleagues say that those who spend much time on social networks suffer more from loneliness.


    Researchers interviewed more than 1,700 people aged 19 to 32 about how strongly they feel isolated from society, and how long and how often they sit on social networks (they chose ten social networks, among which were Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). On average, respondents took them just over an hour a day, which was up to frequency, then on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Young people came in about 30 times a week.

    About 27% of them suffered from social exclusion, and the feeling of loneliness was the stronger, the more time a person spent on social networks. For example, those who spent on Facebook, Twitter and so on. For half an hour a day, felt in a social sense, two times better than those who sat on social networks in the amount of two hours or more. The same correlation was also regarding attendance: if a person visited social networking sites 58 times a week, then he felt three times more isolated than the one who limited himself to nine visits.

    Can any generalized “Facebook” instead of the joy of communication give a feeling of loneliness and plunge into depression? The researchers themselves say that at a young age (recall that the respondents were from 19 to 32), it is important to have direct communication, and chat rooms, likes and comments are still not very direct communication, we do not interact closely on the Internet.

    On the other hand, not so long ago we can see how an excessive passion for Facebook likes and status can literally ruin our lives. In addition, it is impossible not to recall such an often-discussed cause of Internet depression, as someone else’s happiness: seeing how someone has a good time, we are upset because of our own worthless life.

    However, when encountering such studies, it is important to immediately pay attention to whether its authors speak of a causal relationship or a simple correlation. Very often – and in this work too – we are talking about correlation. And Brian Primack and his colleagues honestly report that with their results there is a “chicken and egg problem” – in other words, it is impossible to understand what is happening, whether isolation from active social networks, or social networks are naturally developed in those who feel lonely.

    But just as well, what is important, one cannot speak about the positive influence of social networks – such an assertion of cause-and-effect substantiations is no more, unless, of course, the rationale behind the hot faith is supporters of network communication, whose argument is that to be, because it should be so ”, or to the fact that“ man is a social being ”(the latter sounds, to put it mildly, too general).

    So far, we see that the two psychological and social phenomena are closely related to each other, but in order to understand how they cause each other, we need other, lengthier and more cunning research.

    In the virtual, young people constantly compare themselves with other users of social networks. They judge their online friends by their publications and photos. As a result, they may get the impression that other inhabitants of the Network lead a more active, fun and interesting life. All this leads to the substitution of real friends for virtual and a sense of social isolation, writes The Daily Mail.

    Psychologists conducted a study among more than five thousand people of different ages. The survey showed that 18% of them felt lonely most of the time. However, in the group of people aged 16 to 24, 32% complained about this problem, and among those who are 65 years old – only 11%. Thus, young people are three times more likely than retirees to spend time alone and in isolation.

    It turned out that, in general, people most often had two or three close friends. However, every eighth participant of the survey had no close friends at all, and only every twentieth had more than ten close friends. It is noteworthy that every twentieth respondent said that he was never loved. Every eighth respondent believes that the feeling of love in our time is rare.

    Time is running along a shrinking spiral, and ten years ago very few people could have thought that humanity would plunge into social networks. Each request has its own service. Easily fulfilled children’s dreams. Do you want to be a photographer, a writer? Please, social networks will heal your wounds, comfort and understand. But there is a flip side to the coin. Social networks are a relatively new invention, but now we can say with confidence that they have literally turned the way of life of millions of people around the world. Everything ingenious is simple, and the elegant simplicity of the idea of ​​social networks brought billions in dividends to inventors and forever changed the principles of social communication for ordinary users.

    In parallel with the growing importance of social networks, there is a rapid development of a variety of “gadgets” – portable electronic devices that provide access to your favorite accounts anytime and anywhere. “Now sharing your photos will be easier than ever”, is the standard phrase from the video advertising another smartphone.

    <i>Social networks are simply created to produce negative and frustration! </i>

    Moreover, let’s admit that we will not upload a photo without makeup (and if we do, then it will look perfect on the cheekbones, nose and lips). It turns out that we ourselves consciously choose the best in order to show our best. It is quite logical. Therefore, looking through the profiles of our friends, we will inevitably stumble upon the most ridiculous, interesting content that describes them from the beautiful side and compare ourselves with them according to various parameters. It is quite logical.

    On the other hand, there are studies that prove that social networks make us happier. This is supposedly achieved through a sense of unity, social inclusion, coworking, humor and sharing. Especially Schering. Now, looking through the Internet content, we automatically divide it into “ok”, “not ok” and “oh! it is necessary to share it!” Let’s not forget about pleasant acquaintances in social networks, thanks to which not one couple found each other.

    The main thing that social networks can give us is a sense of involvement. When we are involved, we are good, fun, and we are happy. As soon as we fall out of context, we lose interest in a topic, product, person. When we do not pay attention, we are unhappy. This is what the majority of researchers of social networks and the Internet say. Attention to our person – a pledge of positive emotions. The number of likes, reposts and comments is our price and our weight online.

    <i>What is it that attracts Internet users to social networks?</i>

    Initially, the answer to this question is given by the socio-psychological category of criteria for satisfaction with communication:

    1. The need for stimulation. A person receives multiple stimuli from the world around him. The most significant are the incentives received from other people. The most important social stimulation in the adolescent period of human development, when he focuses on socially significant and authoritative for him peers and adults. It is not surprising if completely different subjects, who at first glance have nothing in common, successfully communicate with each other for a long time: they satisfy the need for stimulation. Especially important and significant is social stimulation from strangers who suddenly show an interest in your personal webpage, becoming its random guests or offering to switch to virtual “friendly” relationships, which in itself significantly increases the user’s self-esteem).
    2. The need for events. It is not enough for people to have only good and stable relationships with each other. What is needed is a social interest, a certain dynamic of life, which brings new impressions. Human perception is always aimed at some changes, new situations. Therefore, too static, unchanging relations between people, devoid of dynamics and not accompanied by one or another event, run out over time. People get bored and uninteresting with each other, and they strive to interrupt communication – which explains the “cleaning” of contact lists of social network users in order to remove inactive users with non-updated, static pages (author’s note). At the same time, communication can include a very dubious substitute for real events – discussion of other people based on rumors and gossip – and in social networks it is possible to create your own events, reinforcing facts with audiovisual accompaniment (author’s note). Most people who are actively involved in the dissemination of such information, as a rule, have few interesting events in their own lives (the majority of social network users are middle-level office workers, with no particular career prospects and with low salaries or students). ), which is compensated by a genuine interest in the lives of other people. However, communication, which includes similar content, does not really satisfy a person’s need for events, but only replaces it at a quasi-level.
    3. The need for recognition is satisfied whenever a person meets familiar people. People usually do not realize this need, because every day they communicate with relatives or well-known people. When you change your place of residence or in the case of a temporary stay in a foreign city, this need is actualized, and the individual begins to realize it. In such a situation, a subject may develop a specific state of social deprivation — deprivation of a sense of social support, self-doubt, confusion, etc. When recognition occurs, social identity is confirmed by other people, which, in turn, supports its self-identification. The process of self-identification requires reliance on others no less than the reliance of man on himself. Appeal to social networks acquires the character of a compensatory process – there are cases when a person who abruptly changed his place of residence, work or country of residence in order to reduce tension and reduce anxiety, resorted to many hours of communication with former compatriots, countrymen or colleagues in social resources – so it is impossible to deny the positive psychotherapeutic aspects of the functioning of social networks (author’s note).
    4. Needs for achievements and recognition. Both of these needs are associated with a person’s self-esteem, respect and self-esteem and are related to the so-called highest needs. It is their users of social resources that are successfully updated by posting photos and videos on personal pages dedicated to professional success or personal achievements (family, children, good rest).
    5. The need for structuring time is usually a side effect of human life and communication. E. Bern singled out various types of time structuring, which he defined as ways of spending time: rituals, procedures, entertainment, intimacy, games. A normal person needs different ways of spending time and their relative dynamics. The rituals include all types of conventional communication related to generally accepted norms, for example, in social networks there are reminders of birthdays and other important events in the life of virtual “friends.” Procedures are various forms of communication in the process of joint activities, accompanying the order of actions (communication in the messaging mode through a special form, comments on the user page, evaluation of photos and video materials or the transition to more direct forms of communication in real time – telephone, Skype. Communication, accompanying entertainment person, associated with activities that bring pleasure (discussion of topics related to recreation, hobbies, sex, etc. Intimacy (love, friendship) is accompanied by open personal communication (for this purpose, in some social resources there is an option to create virtual families, an indication of the social status of the user, a choice of the degree of privacy of a personal page with restricted access for outside visitors, unlike games (meaning social games – actions with hidden motives), which include manipulative communication.

    As we can see, social networks that are actively developing in recent times cannot be unambiguously evaluated as a positive or negative phenomenon due to a number of mutually exclusive factors:

    • The ability to create your own “micro-world” in the format of a personal web page – and at the same time the end of all privacy and wide access to personal information of an unlimited number of users;
    • Satisfying the need for information about the life of relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, alas, often developing into compulsive (obsessive) curiosity with incessant access to the resource in order to “keep abreast” of all changes in the “life” of the virtual communication partner;
    • Developing effective communication skills to establish relationships using a minimum of expressive means — and traditional (in 90% of cases) frustration in situations of real contact with a person “on the other side of the monitor”.
    • The gradual transfer of real relationships (due to their complexity and ambiguity) into the virtual sphere due to the lack of desire (and … time) to build “online” communication – alas, but the phrase “I’m running now, I do not even have time to write your number, find me on Facebook or Instagram! ” are becoming increasingly important in our information society …






    Primack, Brian. Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S.


    Lorenz, Taylor. “How Twitter Became Home to the Teen Status Update: ‘Local Twitter’ is a booming network of basic, young suburbanites across the country.”


    Terkle, Sherry. “Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other” 2011.


    Berne, Eric. “Games people play” 1992.




Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Skip to toolbar