Yvette Vickers, a former B-movie star and Playboy playmate who was popular for her character in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, died a lonely death in her home. She did not have any children, was not a group member, nor had she any friends. Reports suggest that Vickers had died…
In “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely,” published in the May 2012 edition of The Atlantic magazine, Stephen Marche looks at the phenomenon of Facebook and how it affects our relationships as human beings.
In a similar way to most of us, Vickers’s network of communication had increased yet decreased at the same time. Many of us can be easily accessed but yet we live in isolation. In recent years, technology has moved us to a way of life (technology) that we wholesomely rely on. In the extreme, several miles of fiber-optic cables were installed between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and New York Stock Exchange in order to increase the speed of transmission during trading by three milliseconds (Marche 2012). But, in spite of absolute and instant communication, we can suffer from loneliness. The more the new socializing modes, the less of an actual society exists. The more the connection, the lonelier we become.
As of last year, Facebook had over 800 million users and revenue in excess of $3 billion (Marche 2012). The company further aims to be the largest internet IPO ever. Although it is the first site to have more than a trillion page views in a month, the way in which it is used is causing harm to its users without them knowing (Lushing and Atwan 45). Even Facebook’s owner, Mark Zuckerberg, who is one of the youngest billionaries in the world, experiences loneliness like the rest of us. As can be seen in the film The Social Network, his loneliness is evident when he sends a friend request to his ex-lover and then waits for a response while refreshing the page (like many of us have desperately done). Unlike the Friends circle in Google+, which suggests that people only include his or her real friends, Facebook has created a cyber world that includes people with whom we have never interacted. This depicts the interference that Facebook has brought about in relationships—it promotes the isolation that it was designed to overcome.
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