Yvette Vickers, a former B-movie star and Playboy playmate who was popular for her character in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, died a lonely death in her home. She did not have any children, was not a group member, nor had she any friends…
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During her last days, she looked for companionship from fans whom she met through Internet sites and fan conventions. When news of her death got out, she was the subject of over 16,000 posts on Facebook and more than 800 tweets. In “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely,” published in the May 2012 edition of The Atlantic magazine, Stephen Marche looks at the phenomenon of Facebook and how it affects our relationships as human beings. In a similar way to most of us, Vickers’s network of communication had increased yet decreased at the same time. Many of us can be easily accessed but yet we live in isolation. In recent years, technology has moved us to a way of life (technology) that we wholesomely rely on. In the extreme, several miles of fiber-optic cables were installed between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and New York Stock Exchange in order to increase the speed of transmission during trading by three milliseconds (Marche 2012). But, in spite of absolute and instant communication, we can suffer from loneliness. The more the new socializing modes, the less of an actual society exists. The more the connection, the lonelier we become. As of last year, Facebook had over 800 million users and revenue in excess of $3 billion (Marche 2012). The company further aims to be the largest internet IPO ever. Although it is the first site to have more than a trillion page views in a month, the way in which it is used is causing harm to its users without them knowing (Lushing and Atwan 45). Even Facebook’s owner, Mark Zuckerberg, who is one of the youngest billionaries in the world, experiences loneliness like the rest of us. As can be seen in the film The Social Network, his loneliness is evident when he sends a friend request to his ex-lover and then waits for a response while refreshing the page (like many of us have desperately done). Unlike the Friends circle in Google+, which suggests that people only include his or her real friends, Facebook has created a cyber world that includes people with whom we have never interacted. This depicts the interference that Facebook has brought about in relationships—it promotes the isolation that it was designed to overcome. Many people thought that Facebook was developed as a solution to people suffering from loneliness. This innovation seemed to be a solution at the time; however, recent studies show that loneliness rates in American have significantly increased. Additionally, isolation has increased unhappiness in the U.S. To understand the real effect social media forms have caused, we need to realize there is a difference between loneliness and being alone. Being alone is a beautiful thing. On the other hand, loneliness is a sad thing; it is also a psychological condition. Analyzing data from Dutch twins in 2005 showed that they both had similar genetic conditions as they did psychological problems (Marche 2012). Nonetheless, loneliness is difficult to explain. The UCLA loneliness scale is the best tool to measure the loneliness of a person. Studies using the scale have shown that loneliness is increasing rapidly within a short time. A leading American study shows about 20 percent of Americans suffer from loneliness (Marche 2012). Single people suffer from loneliness more than married couples who are confidants. Another study found that active believers who perceived God as helpful and nonfigurative were less lonely than those who saw God as wrathful. Due to increased rates of loneliness there is a fear of an epidemic across Europe, as suggested by health experts. Loneliness and bein
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The growth of facebook since its introduction was phenomenal. When it was introduced, many people perceived it just as another communication channel or social network rather than anything else. However the influence of facebook over human life at present is tremendous and it is difficult to describe it in words.
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