Social networking platforms have become more and more addictive lately – Facebook has well-over one billion users, and Twitter is the second most popular social media website, with over 700 million people using it on a regular basis. While it is true that these platforms are truly useful for sharing news and clips, as well as for helping us keep in touch with our friends, family and colleagues, the question is: just how lonely are we, when we shut off our laptops and face the real world? Twitter and Facebook have made us spend hours each day, browsing through the same old content over and over again, and numerous studies have revealed that the extended use of social media can make is both physically and mentally ill, in the long run. As a matter of fact, the same studies have shown a very strong connection between the use of social media and loneliness, narcissism and depression.
Fortunately, there are many ways in which one can overcome that feeling of loneliness induced by social networking platforms: for instance, one may choose to slowly trade their virtual contacts for actual real-life connections, or they can find an interest group where they can get to meet other like-minded people. One thing is for sure: going out more and socializing with people face-to-face is the “antidote” for this social media “pandemic” that is spreading at an alarming rate. Here are the top four reasons why social media makes us feel lonely:
- Our Facebook “Friends” Are Anything But Friends
The first and perhaps most obvious reason why social media is so depressing for many of us is because we only get shallow connections. Facebook, for instance, allows you to add as much as 5,000 friends – out of those 5,000, you probably know 100 in real-life. The rest of them are nothing but superficial connections, and the chances are that you do not even know most of them.
However, this is the tricky part: although you may not know them in real-life, these people might like, share or comment on your status or photos every now and then, thus giving you the false impression that they care about the content you share with your Facebook “admirers”, or that you matter.