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Social Media and Loneliness

By Natasha Khajooei-Kermani
Promotions Manager Skjermbilde 2014-02-19 kl. 01.29.04

Social media is part of our everyday lives. We are confronted with it wherever we go, in everything we do. It appears that social media with its inherent urge of constant and silent communication is forcing us to neglect our desire to be truly alone once in a while, to reflect and to relax.

It has been often discussed, and debated, whether technology and social media is keeping us more connected, or if it is actually keeping us from face-to-face interactions. And what about our ability to actually be alone? Are we still in the position to see being alone as a positive and beneficial state? A basic need or interest of a human being is to stay connected and to be part of a community, according to American Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

People that set up a profile on a social media platform become a part of the online community and get a feeling of connectivity and togetherness. However, it has become evident that these new methods of communication have also influenced and altered our ability to be alone.

Nowadays, young adults are confronted with technology very early in their lives and are exposed to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This may be prior to having the ability to judge the impact these platforms will have on their lives.

Consequently, they tend to look for some sort of entertainment or people they can connect with.Ask yourself this question: What would happen if you were to leave your house for an afternoon and forgot your phone? Or worse, what would happen if your phone were to break?

“I would feel uncomfortable because nowadays you are expected to be reachable almost 24/7. I think I would feel stressed in the beginning because I’m not used to it anymore,” said Philipp Lutz, a senior Business major.

“Not having a phone for a while, definitely has its perks. It can be a good thing to be alone. It allows you to sort things out in your mind and focus on what’s important to you—all you need to worry about is yourself,” Lutz added.

While communication is an integral part of our social life, as well as a desire to feel connected to our community, it is also good to be alone once in a while. If we do not have the ability to be alone and feel good about it, we will only know how it is to feel lonely.

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