Facebook Does not Promote Loneliness
For years, Facebook has remained to be one of the critical tools for business communication. Its role has been extended to include communication between individuals and family members and friends. Just like other social media sites, Facebook helps to maintain the connection between us and friends and families (Chaykowski par. 1-2). It is believed that approximately 1 billion people access Facebook every minute. This increased use of Facebook has resulted to various studies with more of them pointed towards its impact on the user. Loneliness has been one of the studied effects. The study of the connection between loneliness and Facebook use has created a sharp rift between two parties with one side confirming a positive relationship between the two variables and the other claiming the opposite. Be it as it may, Facebook helps to eradicate loneliness especially for individuals with poor interpersonal skills by offering them a forum to connect virtually with other individuals. Sharing of information in Facebook by depressed individuals has helped to reduce the impact of loneliness. Facebook has also helped to improve the wellbeing of old generation hence reducing the adverse effects of stress as a result loneliness.
Facebook provides a platform through which individuals with poor interpersonal skills can virtually connect with other people across the globe. This virtual connection helps to eliminate loneliness which can have detrimental mental effect to an individual. Despite this advantage, the opposing side of Facebook usage believes that use of Facebook leads to psychological problems such as loneliness. However, nothing can be further from the truth. Griffiths (par. 2-6) says it is loneliness that brings individuals to Facebook and not vice versa. Griffiths (par. 2-6) continues and says that there seems to be a direct relationship between the level of loneliness and the amount of time spent on Facebook. Lonely individuals tend to spend most of their time in Facebook, an indication that they are finding solace there. Apart from helping shy people to virtually connect with other people, Facebook helps to eradicate one of the ingredients of loneliness referred to as social seclusion. Facebook enables the user to connect with friends and family members who might be far away. This connection helps to bring of contentment knowing that the friends and family members are fine wherever they are.
Besides communicating with family and friends, Facebook offers a platform through which a depressed individual can share their frustrations. In this process of sharing, such individual often connects with others who might be undergoing through the same problem or have successfully managed the problem. This helps in the healing process. Al-Saggaf and Nielsen (460-468) analyzed Facebook profiles status of 608 females, 308 categorized as lonely and the rest categorized as connected. The categorization was based on the subjects’ latest wall postings. The results of the study revealed that females in the lonely category were more likely to include their personal data such as phone numbers, email address, and relationship status on their profiles. We cannot dispute entirely the belief that a good number of people who share their personal information such as frustrations are actually lonely in some way. The cardinal part of this case is the information shared. Whereas some people might maintain that sharing such information may turn detrimental to the user especially in regard to compromising their privacy, the truth is that a good number of fatal cases as a result of loneliness have been eliminated through sharing of information.
In addition to getting solution to personal problems, Facebook has a great impact when it comes to social belonging and connectedness especially among the old people. The feeling of seclusion and loneliness in old generation can be a result of traumatic events such of loss of a loved one. With globalization in its almost full effect, families nowadays live as a unit. The idea of living as an extended family is long gone. This separation creates isolation especially for the old generation hence placing them at a greater risk in terms of health. However, with the invention of social media platforms such as Facebook, families have been able to reconnect. The connection has in turn resulted to improvement of health among the old generation. Nevertheless, those against use of Facebook contend that excessive use of Facebook increases loneliness which in turn results different mental issues such as stress. The results of study conducted by Chopik (551-556) disputes the opponents’ assertion. The study found out that high social media usage especially among the older adults was related to fewer chronic illnesses, better self-care, high subjective wellness, and fewer symptoms of depression. The research found out that social media connection resulted to reduce loneliness. Hence, we can safely state that use of Facebook for the purpose of socialization among the old generation helps to improve their wellbeing and not loneliness.
Al-Saggaf, Yeslam, and Sharon Nielsen. “Self-Disclosure On Facebook Among Female Users And Its Relationship To Feelings Of Loneliness.” Computers in Human Behavior 36.C (2014): 460-468. Web. 13 Feb. 2019.
Chaykowski, Kathleen. “Facebook Focuses News Feed On Friends And Family, Curbing The Reach Of Brands And Media.” Forbes.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 13 Feb. 2019.
Chopik, William J. “The Benefits Of Social Technology Use Among Older Adults Are Mediated By Reduced Loneliness.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 19.9 (2016): 551-556. Web. 13 Feb. 2019.
Griffiths, Sarah. “Does Facebook Make You Lonely?.” Mail Online. N.p., 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2019.