Kolton's ideas, thoughts and opinions

12 Feb

Facebook’s impact on loneliness

The articles Facebook Isn’t Making Us Lonely by Eric Klinenberg and Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? By Stephen Marche both attack the same concept, except from different angles. Both articles ultimately are trying to answer the question of whether or not social medias make us more or less lonely.

The article by Eric Klinenberg argues that Facebook defitnely does not make people lonely. He argues the opposite, actually taking apart lines from Marche’s arguments and breaking down why he believed they were not true. My favorite argument that Klinenberg makes is that social media is a “supplement, not a surrogate for our social lives”. This rings true with me in the sense that things like facebook and snapchat have not replaced day to day interaction. I’d much rather hang out with my friends rather than talk to them all in a group chat, but most of the time people are too busy or too far away to do these things so they have to supplement face to face interaction with talking on social media.

Stephen Marche argues that social media is making people lonelier, going as far as to say that “We live in an accelerating contradiction: The more connected we become, the lonelier we are.” Marche starts out the article by talking about a death of a former playmate and how she went viral because she exemplified loneliness. To me, Mache’s argument starts to fall apart when he tries to bring up statistics and numbers because he says things like marriage can or can’t affect your loneliness, living alone can or can affect your loneliness and other things like that. So many of his arguments were ambivalent it was tough to believe the whole thing.

In my opinion Klinenberg’s argument held more true, but I do think that it is easier to piece-by-piece break down an argument rather than build one from scratch like Marche did. In my opinion I do not think facebook is making us lonely, it only amplifies human behavior. Meaning lonely people will be lonely with or without facebook and the same applies for those who are not lonely.

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