The Internet Is Making Us Lonely

Likes, favorites, retweets, comments, and all those weird emotion things Facebook just added.

We live for instant gratification. It’s not because we’re selfish, it’s because of the Internet. It’s because we not only have to look great in person but we also have to look great online. There is more than one impression to make and you never know when you are going to have to make it. You know when you’re going out to a bar to meet up with all your friends and look for cute guys. But, you never know when someone’s going to request you as a friend on Facebook or follow you on Insta. You could make a great first impression in person, but might totally bomb when your first impression online is break up quotes and pictures of wine.

It always looks like everyone else is having so much fun. They add all of their vacation pictures to an album for the world to see. They Instagram the amazing brunch they’re having that Saturday morning. They’re tweeting about the great party they want to. And you’re in your bed eating ice cream and talking to your dog, throwing out likes to everyone and wishing you were invited.

You can see all your friends and all of your “friends” having a life without you. Even when you do go out and have fun, it’s not gratifying because there’s always someone else doing something else. Someone who has more likes on their picture or chose a better filter.

The Internet is a lonely place. Everyone’s searching for instant gratification but no one is willing to reach out.

No matter how many followers I have, I still get lonely. The Internet doesn’t offer you a true “good job” and pat on the back when you get a promotion. The Internet doesn’t offer you sincere condolences and a hug when someone dies. The Internet doesn’t cry from laughing at your jokes or binge eat pizza with you when you’re sad. But still we avoid people and face to face interaction. We still flock to the Internet to show everyone how happy we are when we are, in fact, completely lonely.

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cvitnu/

42 thoughts on “The Internet Is Making Us Lonely

  1. “Solitude is where you find yourself so that you can reach out to other people and form real attachments. When we don’t have the capacity for solitude, we turn to other people in order to feel less anxious or in order to feel alive. When this happens, we’re not able to appreciate who they are. Its as though we’re using them as spare parts to support our fragile sense of self. We slip into thinking that always being connected is going to make us feel less alone. But we’re at risk because actually it’s the opposite that’s true. If we’re not able to be alone, we’re going to be more lonely.” – Connected But Alone? A TED Talk by Sherry Turkle

    I talked a bit about what this means in my newest post, too. (https://sublunarreflections.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/review-how-to-be-single-spoilers/)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the internet HAS given introverts a platform they didn’t have before though. I think many introverts never felt like their voice was heard, and with the ability to type your feelings to other people instead of having to verbalize has helped some introverts come out of their shell and make friends they may not have had before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In a way, yes. I’m pretty introverted and have always been very into social media because it gave me a place to speak. But I also find it has provided me a place to run away from the world to and I maybe even have become more introverted because of it.

      Like

  3. Loneliness is a matter of perception. It’s why we would rather have one close friend than five we only see at weekends. We need to have regular contact with people to truly express our love to them and to develop a sense of belonging with them. When we fill our “tribe” with hundreds of followers, friends or forum-goers, we are growing close to people we never see. We feel lonely because the people we love the most and want to be with the most cannot experience that love or provide us with that sense of belonging. In short, the internet creates a permanent sense of homesickness.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely! Further to the point of missing out: how less jealous would we be of our friend’s house or our sister’s birthday cake if we could also share and enjoy them? We are jealous of experiences we do not share because we want to feel included. When we do not share these experiences we feel ostracized.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve backed right off from FB Rosie. It’s far too easy to compare to others, just remember that what you’re seeing posted might not be the complete reality. People only post what they want you to see. If they were really secure in themselves they wouldn’t feel a need to prove to everyone. Focus on your own world Rosie, the real world and reach out to the people around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, thanks for the follow, and Ioved what you wrote here. Good to recognize these things early and not allow technology to be isolating. I deleted my fb app from my phone for this reason. battery lasts longer too. Have a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Insightful post, lass. your description of people posting “break up posts and wine,” resonates with me, because my younger “social media friends” appear to be adept at revealing lives that resemble emotional roller coasters, with more ups and downs than any of the most dangerous real roller coasters out there. I agree that social media and technological advances have contributed to the conception that many are lonely. That “loneliness” is compounded by an inability of many to communicate effectively in a one on one environment, prompting them to avoid direct social contact, and that can spiral out of control. I write as one who formerly taught acting classes (and theatre) with adolescents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I think everyone in their 20’s was on an emotional roller coaster at some point but now that we have social media it’s there for the world to see. I think we can communicate effectively in person but choose to do it online instead to reach a larger audience and fake importance

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How true this post is > I haven’t posted anything in ages on FB. I used to post the link to my WP blog on my page and people would click like unaware that on WP you can see how many people have come and actually bothered coming to visit your page and read it. I live in China so can easily see how many people from the UK come over and visit. The best thing about FB is keeping in touch with people aside from people taking the time to absorb something that’s taken days to write well……I’m left scratching my head on that one. I agree with what you say about seeing other people’s photos of having a great time, it’s a two edged sword because of course I’m happy to see people having a great time and living their lives as they should but as I said. I’m miles away in China.

    I liked what Bensbitterblog had to say about Introverts getting a chance to express themselves. I suffer badly from anxiety so its a great opportunity for me. I have a few online friends who I RSS and they are really nice from all over the world all with different interests. I really value having them around and love it when they come and visit my blog.

    Still, its a strange old world when all we do is wake up and switch on the computer!

    I’m going outside now LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This culture that we are in today enhances this loneliness. I am forever pointing out people sitting at a table together engrossed in their telephone screens. Put them down. Talk to each other. While you are looking at your screen, life is passing you by.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree…I call it ‘anti-social media’ for a reason, LOL

    People don’t know how to talk to each other face-to-face anymore, it seems – within five minutes of meeting, the phablets come out and the conversing is done entirely with bowed heads and tapping fingers.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yep, the internet is making us lonely. We are not having enough human interaction as we need to.

    People don’t even want to talk to each other nowadays but rather be on their phones!

    Liked by 1 person

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