In the era of digital world, social networks such as Facebook play an important role in the lives of every individual, regardless of its age, ethnical origin or place of residence. People constantly click, share, like of comment everywhere you look: on the street, in the bus, on the plane. However, the ability and skill to communicate with the person standing next to you has slowly vanished. If one needs an advice about something which a person standing or sitting beside him would probably know, he would rather ask a Facebook friend. Facebook is just another channel of communication and people should use it as such. Instead, people relay completely on Facebook, while shutting the door on face-to-face communication. Facebook may be valuable toll is used reasonably, but overuse of Facebook as a place where one shares its life with his friend leads to complete isolation, a magic circle of loneliness where an individual leads a virtual life with virtual friends, instead of the real ones.
A reasonable use of Facebook may lead to spreading the network of acquaintances, people from childhood, long-forgotten friends, or forming groups for sharing valuable information. "Numerous studies have shown that a strong network of friends can be crucial to getting through a crisis, and can help you be healthier in general" (Dailey 1). A place where a person can share its thoughts and feeling without the fear of being judged or criticized contributes to everyone's self-confidence. In this way, an individual knows that he is not forgotten and abounded. In addition, Facebook groups can be a valuable tool for the exchange of learning material and for the promotion of support and idea exchange. Other ways that the use of Facebook can enrich our lives include meeting with friends from different culture and learning about diversity that exists. However, the stated benefits of Facebook may apply to its reasonable use, which is rarely the case.
It seems that people have forgotten that there are other means of communication, such as interpersonal communication or a letter. The current homophobia exists everywhere, except on social networks such as Facebook. People become isolated and alienated. It is more likely that one would have 500+ friends on Facebook, but would not have a clue about the name of his first neighbor, because he never spoke to him. As cited by the author of the article "Is Facebook making us lonely?", Stephen Marche, "We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are" (Marche 2). The ability to clearly express emotions on Facebook wall does not make us braver, even though we feel this way. Can we repeat the same words to a person when faced directly? The need to hide behind the screen of a smart phone or a computer has led the mankind to disconnection with the ones that surround us.
People lead a virtual life instead of the real one which leads them to isolation. The false sense of having a lot of friends on Facebook or some other social network leads to isolation. When we log out, we are alone, with our own thoughts. People reach to social networks so that they can escape the felling of loneliness. How many people from the list of Facebook friends do we really, truly know? Facebook friends are not the ones with whom we go out in the evening to watch a movie, or visit a club. As cited by Marche, "Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing, but both are on the rise" (3). Is the reason for this only Facebook, or the problems needs to be sought within ourselves?
The channels of communications have changed, but the human need to socialize has remained the same. The real life and real friends have been replaced with the virtual ones; the ones who may say whatever they want and who selfishly share their lives with the rest of the world. The silent feeling of alienation in the darkness of the room hides behind the lit screen and crawls and waits to overpower us. If used as one of many channels of communication, Facebook may be of great use. However, if used as the only channel of communication, it leads to isolation and loneliness.
Dailey. Kate. "Friends with Benefits: Do Facebook Friends Provide the Same Support as Those in Real Life" Print.
Marche, Stephen. "Is Facebook making us lonely?". Print