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The Problem of Loneliness in Social Networks

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Today’s generation seems to have a nose glued to the phone, to any type of screen that gives access to social networks. We spend so much time on social networks trying to broaden our circle of human relationships that we end up feeling really lonely. And it seems a paradox, almost an oxymoron what our generation is experiencing. Thanks to the law of six degrees of separation, human beings are more and more involved, this seems to be evidence as I explained above. And it’s a certain situation Paradoxical but not so much. According to a study conducted by Pittsburgh University, there is indeed a risk for frequent Internet users who are more susceptible to loneliness and depression

“Am I still friends with someone who likes what I post on Facebook? What is a real friendship and can we say that being connected with so many people make us feel really more involved in realtionship?”

For Billy Baker, a Boston Globe journalist , these questions suddenly came into his life when he was assigned to write a report about modern loneliness and his article has become the most viral history of the Boston Globe for 10 years.

As Prime Minister Theresa May highlithed in one of her speeches, the feeling of loneliness is the ”sad reality of modern life,”. But what is behind this malaise of our time?

To talk about lonelinesswe should first explain who’s the first target, the so called millenials.

The millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996. Who was born later is part of another generation whose name, not yet definitive, is informally Z generation. It matters little, because what characterizes them and their almost frenetic use of the Internet and a good knowledge of how to use social networks.

The issues comes from the fact that people are abandoning original socialization, which give the social capital as explained by he sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and replace it with digital networking, social media, and everything related to it. This processus seems to be part of our eeryday life as usual users of social network. However to stop meeting, having friends, or simply spending time together is dangerous. Some experts do not hesitate to say that according to many studies on that, loneliness and depression supposedly coming from this issue give health effects as serious as smoking or becoming terribly obese.

Knowing that before the advent of the Internet, 20% of American adults said they felt lonely, one should tkeep in mind that this figure have doubled today and it’s probably just the top of the iceberg.

But the real question should we give all the fault to social network use?

There is definetely an issue in using correctly social networking today, but is it because it is a new tool and so people do not know how to use it properly without affecting their mntal health?

Sadly, people greatly underestimate the time they spend using their smartphones. According to a study, canadians would spend nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen, whether it’s their cell phone, tablet or TV. Such habits undermine the quality of our interactions with others, we all focus on our profiles on social networks without really seeing what happens in real life and realtionships.

In fact, one of the most striking studies on this issue is that the mere presence of a smart phone in its field of vision decreases the concentration and ability to interact with another person.

The truth is that one is easily distracted by the mere presence of a phone because the brain is already anticipating a new notification or a new pretense of looking at Instagram or Facebook..

Shopenhauer, a german philosopher said that “What makes men sociable is their inability to endure loneliness and, in this, themselves”.

So, according to his philosophy, we know that the human being is not made to be alone but to share and interacte with his similars.

And thinking about it that’s the point of social networks, but it takes away from us the healthy sense of awareness that certain moments are only ours and such should remain, the fascination of the unsaid, the possibility of actively participating, instead of being involved in the activity of sharing, showing the world what we are doing.

I’m not sure that social networks are just that, the ability to create artistically a certain profile on Instagram for exemple, or maintain and find people and relationships it is one of the major positive points of Social network. And creating relationships does not necessarily stop at the virtual, sometimes people who met on the Internet develop a real connection and can meet in real world, beating all the cliches about virtual realtionships.

A mean acquires meaning also thanks to its use, personnaly i think that a true balanceshould be found between what we earn and what we lose by this massive use of social networking, and if we consider the law of six degrees separation, we must ask if it is worth it this possibility to contact anyone so easily if then in real life you feel so alone.

Many solutions are on work right now, for exemple in England the governement made the strinking decision to create a minister of solitude, to fight aganst this issue that is becomin a real malaise of our times.

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The Problem of Loneliness in Social Networks. (2020, February 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
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