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We live in an age of connectivity - a sort of connectivity that arises not from physical interactions, but through the technological progress that has given us Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. But have you ever stopped to think about the effect that this changed lifestyle can have and is having on us? Here we bring to you the scientifically established truth of what Facebook is doing to our brains, and when you read it, you'll be shocked!
Monkeys are known to organize themselves into groups of individuals. The size of each of these groups is limited, and the only way each group can function properly and effectively is to know each member of the group. The average size of the group is known to vary from 20 to 50 members. But when the size of the group crosses a maximum limit, the group breaks up and fragments itself into two smaller groups. Something similar can be seen in humans as well.
Sociological studies show that the rough size of human groups consists of roughly 150 members. It means that a person can intimately know only 150 people. Being a social animal, loneliness can drive a man crazy. The society that we live in has been such that the image of a person depends on self-achievements such as career and wealth. Owing to this, most people neglect individualism and focus on parameters such as career and wealth that helps create an image of themselves so as to fit into society. But as a result of the same, most people today have come to describe themselves as being sad, and lonely.
One of the reasons of loneliness is the online social network. It only seems contradicting as to how social networks, that're supposed to help in being more social, can lead to loneliness. But in a world where time is money and money is image, the social network only serves to increase the pressure on people to put in more energy in maintaining their social image. We have become addicted to social romance that have presented themselves in the form of social platforms, which help us maintain our social life effectively.
While it seems like a good idea to be able to maintain our social lives effectively through these social platforms, this itself has become the problem. We are today collecting friends like stamps. We have substituted quantity for quality, and exchanged the intimacy of friendships for exchange of photos and videos. In doing so, we have sacrificed conversation for connection, leading to the paradoxical situation of having many friends and yet being lonely.
The difference between a real-time conversation and conversing on online social platforms is the actual reason for the paradoxical problem. When we converse in real-time, we do not have the chance to edit, and hence to delete. Online social platforms give us this liberty. We spend abnormally long periods of time trying to create a text message with the 'proper' sequence of words as it should be. Essentially it means that instead of trying to create friendships, we are obsessed with endless personal promotions, investing hours to choose the right photos in which we look our best, using the optimal number and order of words, etc. - all of which are meant to create an attractive personal profile. In this way, the social network is not just changing what we're doing, but also who we are. It has led to a situation of 'I share, and therefore, I am,' which is deeply disturbing. People today are sharing their emotions and experiences in real time only to remain socially active, while in reality, they're simply distancing themselves from the real form of being social.