Is Social Media Making You Even More Lonely?

Posted on November 17, 2013

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other?

This was the question Sherry Turkle raised last year in her fantastic TED Talk that delved into the complexities of building our emotional lives around technology.

Turkle argued that the editing and overall put togetherness of social media posts, texts and other online communication robs us of the skills to conduct spontaneous, engaging conversations with others in real life.

In fact, one of the biggest illusions of social media is the number of people we believe to be our ‘friends’ – most of which we barely have any in-person interaction with at all.

This brilliant infographic video by Shimi Cohen, explores how our community-focused nature only allows us the capacity to maintain comfortable relationships with a maximum of 150 individuals (AKA: Dunbar’s number for those familiar with the concept).

According to the video, social networks offer us as users the following three fantasies:

1) That we can put our attention wherever we want it to be

2) That we will always be heard

3) That we will never have to be alone

The clever and concise visual representation inspired by Turkle’s ideas about the inescapable connection between technology and loneliness is a powerful and timely conversation starter in today’s hyper-digital era.


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