With the connectivity that we get from the internet, we can talk to pretty much anyone in the world, friends, family and even complete strangers. We get constant updates to what they’re doing, multiply that by however many friends you have and you get blasted with a stream of information about their daily lives that is pretty much unparalleled to anything that we as a species have ever had before. People will share aspects of their life that you’d never think to ask about. We get to see what people are doing every night, and what do we do when we see our friends having fun every night? We look at what we’re doing, scrolling through Facebook alone in our room.
Speaking from personal experience, Facebook doesn’t make us feel lonely, but rather it’s the vehicle of information that we compare our life too. In a sense it makes the lonely lonelier, we compare our life to the life that we think our friends live. No one unironically shares that they are home alone, instead they only ever share what they think would be interesting and what people want to see. We only ever see the good in people’s lives, and when we only see the good in other people’s life we start to think that they don’t have any bad parts. It’s this comparison that makes us feel like we truly are not as well off as our friends.
We still have the access to our friends that we did before, better even, but seeing it through the wall that is Facebook makes it seem that we don’t have that connection. I get the connection to my friends through social media, and I like that. However It still feels that every time I go on there all I see are my friends doing these awesome things, and I’m just sitting at home checking Facebook. I guess one simple way to put it is when you’re not actually producing content online, you’re consuming it, and producers are busy producing to consume. This logic is slightly flawed but I feel that it’s based in truth.