Nowadays people cannot imagine their lives without social networking. Social networks are everywhere: we like pictures on Instagram, we read the latest tweets on Twitter, and we interact with our friends on Facebook. Most of the people take for granted the fact that people spend eight to ten hours on social networking every day (Antoci, Sabatini, and Sodini 33). Even though social networks have been created to make people interact with each other and fight loneliness, many people agree that social networks actually destruct the real-life conversation and emotions.
It is pretty reasonable to mention that there are two points of view that are opposing each other in the present day – the ones who think that social networking does not harm the human character and those who believe that social networks destroy the human spirit and give a fake feel of happiness (Tufekci 1).
There are four basic needs that every individual has: the need for company and friendliness, the need for security with the purpose of coping with indecision, the need for meaning, and the need for the venture and new experience (Cotterell 14).
There have been numerous researches on this issue, and the researchers have always wanted to identify some things: how their testees felt in general, how anxious and deserted they were, how much they had used Facebook, and how frequently they had had direct communication with others since the prior text message. It has been found that the more people used Facebook in the period flanked by the two texts, the less content they felt—and the more their total level of fulfillment decayed. The data illustrated that Facebook was making them hopeless and gloomy (Konnikova 1).
According to Marche, loneliness is definitely not something that Facebook or Twitter or any of the less important forms of social networking is doing to us. He believes that it is only us, who should take full responsibility for what we do. Casting technology as some ambiguous, impersonal essence of the past making us do something we do not want to do, is a frail explanation. We make choices about how we use our technologies, not vice versa (Marche 1).
Our ubiquitous new technologies trap us into more and more artificial connections at just the same time that they make dodging the chaos of human communication easy. The attractiveness of Facebook, the cause of its influence, is that it allows us to be social while getting us out of the disconcerting reality of the world – the unintentional revelations we make, the awkward moments, and the overall ungainliness of direct interaction. As an alternative, we have the good-looking smoothness of a superficially social engine. Marche explains that Facebook has discovered that a connection is not identical to a pledge and that prompt and absolute connection is no rescue, no permit to a more contented, healthier world or a more open-minded version of civilization.
Sherry Turkle, in her article, is much more unconvinced about the positive effects of online culture. She articulates that today, unconfident in our relations and worried about intimacy, we want technology to find the ways to be in relationships and keep us away from them all at once. Turkle explains that the problematic part of digital confidentiality is that it is eventually imperfect. The bonds we create through the Internet are not, at long last, the bonds that link us, but they are the bonds that worry us. We don’t want to encroach on each other, so as an alternative we continually intrude on each other, but not in the real world (Turkle 19).
Self-presentation on Facebook is incessant, strongly mediated, and influenced by a pretentious indifference that abolishes even the probability of spontaneity. Managing the demonstration of the self has become a permanent occupation for numerous individuals. Turkle finds a noteworthy connection between Facebook use and self-admiration. She writes that Facebook users have advanced levels of overall narcissism and exhibitionism than those who do not use Facebook. She, in fact, argues that Facebook explicitly fulfills the narcissistic person’s need to participate in self-promoting and insincere behavior. There needs to be a profound and thoughtful discussion about appreciating each other – as people, nothing more or less.
To my mind, both authors provided great insight into the impact of Facebook on people’s lives and personality changes. The issue of people living their lives online instead of seeking a direct face-to-face conversation becomes more relevant to every other year. Marche’s and Turkle’s points of view both were consistent and based on the factual data, but the author tends to agree more with the latter opinion.
The propaganda of narcissism has become evident later as more and more people fall for the “selfie” trend and the feeling of self-love is ubiquitous. In fact, in a decade, most of the people would not even want to see each other in real life and feel quite comfortable as they get used to just texting each other. That is truly upsetting, and people should pay attention to the problem that crept up unnoticed to humanity and represents a real threat to character traits.
Antoci, Angelo, Fabio Sabatini, and Mauro Sodini. “Bowling Alone but Tweeting Together: The Evolution of Human Interaction in the Social Networking Era.” Quality & Quantity Qual Quant 48.4 (2013): 1911-927. Web.
Cotterell, John. Social Networks in Youth and Adolescence. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.
Konnikova, Maria. “How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy.” The New Yorker. N.p., 2013. Web.
Marche, Stephen. “Is Facebook making us lonely.” The Atlantic 309.4 (2012): 60-69.
Tufekci, Zeynep. “Social Media’s Small, Positive Role in Human Relationships” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. 2012. Web.
Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic, 2011. Print.
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?