Monday, May 7, 2012

"Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?"

"We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible. Over the past three decades, technology has delivered to us a world in which we need not be out of contact for a fraction of a moment. … Yet within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are."

—author Stephen Marche, in his widely quoted Atlantic article, "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" [The Atlantic, 5/12]

What do you think about the above statement; agree or disagree?


M.K. said...

For me, I find this assessment a bit extreme. FB has put me back in daily contact with long-lost friends. I cannot conceive how that would be a bad thing. We have ready communication about even daily mundane things, which is a pleasure: what we're having for dinner, where to go for vacation, a date with a hubby, children's graduations, etc. These are sweet things I simply would not have had before.
What's been lost in recent years? Physical community -- but we can't blame FB for that. If we don't get OUT into our neighborhoods and visit with neighbors, it's our own fault. If we're not involved 3 times a week at church like people were 100 years ago, it's our own fault. If we choose to move 500 miles away from family, for the job we love more, it's our own fault. We're not neighborly b/c we're afraid of each other these days. That has to change.

sunshine said...

I totally agree with M.K. about FB being a great tool to communicate with long lost friends and people that are far away.
In any case I think that smart phones are worst for making us lonely because people sometimes rather be texting or on the phone than talking to the person right next to them.
Communication and building a relationship with others is entirely up to us, whether there's facebook or not!
Have a great weekend :)

Eileen said...

I totally agree with that statement.
I had a similar conversation with my daughter about accumulating friends on Facebook. Some of these friends do not go out to socialise and some were people she used to know and some were people she didn't even know.
I don't have a Facebook account as I don't feel the need to accumulate friends in that sense, I prefer real relationships.

GretchenJoanna said...

I agree with Sunshine about smart phones -- I don't have one for that reason. It is already enough of a challenge to really BE with the person I am with.
If people want to be with people face-to-face, they can still do it, can't they? Those of us who like to be alone more can keep in touch and be friendlier even while we are keeping solitary as much as we need.

debbie bailey said...

Thanks, ya'll, for your comments. I agree with them all! I just got an Iphone and absolutely love it! But I think it's rude to play on it while you're with another person except if you're all talked out and you BOTH want to do things on it. It's a great way to pass the time in doctor's office, traffic jams, airports, etc. My fear is that all these electronic devices will take the place of books. Case in point...we're on a trip with our 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old grandson, and I asked them if they'd brought a book to read. One said yes and the other one looked at me like I was crazy and said, "I have my Ipod." As if that were a substitute! ARGH!!!!!