Modern media and especially social networks have become a major part of people’s life. Online communication is ousting traditional live conversation slowly, but surely; nowadays, most people have at least one social network account and spend an impressive amount of their time chatting online. On the one hand, the fact that people can communicate remotely is an important foot forward in not only personal, but also business relationships.
On the other hand, with the abundance of opportunities for communication, the latter seems to have lost its value, with the unceasing conversation process triggering a considerable lack of personal time and self-analysis. People need to be alone, whereas social networks deprive them of this opportunity.
Solitude in the Era of Enhanced Communication
The problem of solitude in the era of social networking is one of the most hot-button issues. Hundreds of friends and followers in social networks demand a constant attention, which means that an average user has little to no personal time left. However, arguably, the process of communication is controlled by each user to the same extent and can be ended whenever one wishes to. More to the point, one is free to stop frequenting the network for a couple of days. Therefore, the problem of the lack of personal time seems to concern not only the emergence of social networks, but also the human psychology.
Locating the Problem: Being Alone and Being Lonely
One must mention that Marche touches upon not one, but several issues when talking about the loneliness of virtual communication. First, the author raises the issue concerning the lack of personal time that new media has triggered. However, digging a bit deeper, one will notice that the author taps on a range of other important issues, such as people’s dependency on social networking, the social ostracism that the people without a social network account are subjected to, and the fact that people willingly deprive themselves of their right to be alone.
Indeed, one might claim that no one demands people to register in a social network. However, seeing that the communication process occurs nowadays mostly in social networks, the people denying the latter are most likely to be isolated from the rest of the society. Those submissive to the power of the social network, in their turn, also lack communication, since they feel that its quality has dropped. Thus, the vicious circle emerges. As the enthusiasm, with which the society engages in virtual communication, is the key reason for its opponents to be ostracized and its supporters to become disappointed quickly, one might assume that it is the false anticipation that triggers problems in communication for most users of social networks.
Despite the obvious benefits of social networks, active online networking leads to drastic lack of personal time, particularly, the time for solitude. A very basic need, it is an integral part of personal development, and its deprivation is likely to lead to drastic results. However, a close analysis of the problem reveals that the issue concerns a much more complex conflict between the psychology of the crowd and the needs of an individual. Therefore, to address the problem of personal solitude and the social networks, one must consider the chances to change people’s attitude towards social networking in general. Otherwise, the conflict will persist.