‘Social’ Media’s Secret? Loneliness Is A Commodity. (Video)
“The maximum natural size for a group of humans is roughly 150 members.”~ Social Research
I Share, Therefore I Am.
Man is a social creature, and the feeling of loneliness can drive him mad. A true and powerful statement. And something that would lend to somebody believing that Social Media and what it provides people, must be a god-send then, right? Well, some very smart people with some very smart research think quite the opposite, and they want you to realize that Social Media might even see your loneliness as the commodity – and not your socializing at all!
The VIDEO above does a brilliant job at bringing to bear the weight behind the subject of Sherry Turkle‘s book, ‘Alone Together‘.
And represents the feelings of a strong group of sociologists and scientists who believe we are being sold a ‘bill of goods‘ when we refer to the online phenomenon of environments such as: Facebook, Twitter and the rest, as ‘SOCIAL‘ Media. Maybe it’s better to reframe the concept in your mind as: ‘UN-SOCIALIZE‘ Media?
Sherry Turkle gave a TED talk recently on the subject of the book, and entitled: ‘Connected, but alone?‘.
The major points from the TED talk reflected those in her book, and here are a few..
1) The communication technologies not only change what people do, but also changes who they are.
2) People are developing problems in relating to each other, relating to themselves, and their capacity for self-reflection.
3) People using these devices excessively expect more from technology and less from each other. Technologies are being designed that will give people the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.
4) The capacity for being alone is not being cultivated. Being alone seems to be interpreted as an illness that needs to be cured rather than a comfortable state of solitude with many uses.
5) Traditional conversation has given way to mediated connection, leading to the loss of valuable interpersonal skills.
And just like most things about you today, it would appear that your loneliness is also a viable commodity.
Loneliness is a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental or emotional factors. And loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connectedness or communality with other beings, both in the present and extending into the future.
As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people.
But most insidiously secretive of all, is when loneliness and it’s propensity to make human beings exist in a state of fear and consumption, are disguised as socializing. Loneliness affects esteem and the need for acceptance – and can turn a person’s state of being into a monetized commodity for so-called ‘Social’ Media to identify, target and exploit.
Are we led to artificially satiate our intrinsic need for connecting ‘socially’, whilst just being used – and left feeling ‘alone together‘?
Just food for thought – maybe for the next time you’re by yourself.
(This is my 30th Article for Trueblue Magazine. Thank you! I hope this ironic and poignant topic fits the bill.)