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Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
The Atlantic Magazine ^ | May 2012 | Stephen Marche

Posted on 05/16/2012 8:59:54 AM PDT by Brandonmark

Yvette Vickers, a former Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space.

The Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Mummified Body of Former Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers Found in Her Benedict Canyon Home,” which quickly went viral. Within two weeks, by Technorati’s count, Vickers’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and 881 tweets. She had long been a horror-movie icon, a symbol of Hollywood’s capacity to exploit our most basic fears in the silliest ways; now she was an icon of a new and different kind of horror: our growing fear of loneliness. Certainly she received much more attention in death than she did in the final years of her life. With no children, no religious group, and no immediate social circle of any kind, she had begun, as an elderly woman, to look elsewhere for companionship. Savage later told Los Angeles magazine that she had searched Vickers’s phone bills for clues about the life that led to such an end. In the months before her grotesque death, Vickers had made calls not to friends or family but to distant fans who...

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: facebook
Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.
1 posted on 05/16/2012 8:59:57 AM PDT by Brandonmark
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To: Brandonmark

So uhhh.. who paid her utility bills for that year?

Seriously. I am 15 minutes late with a payment and they are threatening to turn it service off.


2 posted on 05/16/2012 9:07:21 AM PDT by cableguymn
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To: cableguymn

Probably set up automatic payments from her bank account.


3 posted on 05/16/2012 9:08:32 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Brandonmark

Folks managed to be lonely for years without facebook. Life is what you make of it, facebook or no facebook.

Sheesh.


4 posted on 05/16/2012 9:10:28 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Brandonmark

When they tell you you’ll be more “connected”, expect that you’ll be more disconnected.

When they tell you they want to “empower” you, expect them to accumulate more power over you.

Etc.


5 posted on 05/16/2012 9:13:49 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: cableguymn

“Seriously. I am 15 minutes late with a payment and they are threatening to turn it service off.”

Ohhh you have my Electric Provider...

If I am not up at 6 am writing the check the day it’s due they are calling me to find out if I am okay...


6 posted on 05/16/2012 9:15:46 AM PDT by Syntyr (Happiness is two at low eight!)
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To: Larry Lucido

Agree, but I do find it amazing that someone can have 1,,813 “friends”.


7 posted on 05/16/2012 9:19:10 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Brandonmark

I don’t Facebook and I don’t tweet. Waste of time.


8 posted on 05/16/2012 9:19:49 AM PDT by Noumenon (If people saw socialists for what they truly are, slaughter would ensue - in self-defense.)
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To: Perdogg

***I do find it amazing that someone can have 1,,813 “friends”.***

Embarrassing to get those chain emails that advise you to ‘send to six or more friends’ to ensure good luck and good health’. I struggle to find 2!!!

My kids and other family members have ordered me not to put them on any lists. LOL!!!

The best way to connect with other human beings (besides FR) is to enjoy small talk with store clerks and other people who share our space - even if it’s just for a moment. Surprisingly, young people seem to enjoy a laugh or a funny story -it’s ‘like’ a whole new experience for them.

Who misses smiling faces? We all do!!


9 posted on 05/16/2012 9:39:31 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Newt was willing and able - but the media had more influence.)
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To: Larry Lucido

Interesting how the Mass Media portray average Americans as ignorant, helpless and directionless.


10 posted on 05/16/2012 9:41:31 AM PDT by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: Brandonmark

I don’t know about ronery, but it’s making “us” phony, inexplicably cocky and self-absorbed.


11 posted on 05/16/2012 9:42:41 AM PDT by Dysart (Zero: Celebrate our soon to be first gay ex-President)
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To: Brandonmark

No. Through FB I’ve met cousins I never knew existed and have made great real-life friends, made business contacts, and have gotten invitations to events I would never have otherwise heard of. Facebook has helped me network with coreligionists and fellow conservatives to work for common goals. It’s helped me stay in closer touch with my daughter, who now lives and works some distance away, and see what her friends and coworkers are really like. It’s also let me stay in touch with my own former colleagues after we were all laid off; we would definitely have lost touch after we left the company. So it’s been great and has certainly made our family less lonely or isolated.

Isolation is chosen. You always have the option to reach out to others.


12 posted on 05/16/2012 9:46:36 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: Brandonmark

I facebook. My wife and I have a joint account and use it primarily to post pics of the kids and grandkids for out-of-state relatives to see.

I agree with the article, however, and know a few people who are so lonely in their real lives, they spend all day on facebook just ‘fishing’ for comments so they’ll have someone bite and show interest in their miserable lives.

Status updates like, “Wow...that was interesting...”, or “Hmmm...I wonder what that means”, or some other hypothetical question which is only meant to elicit a response to engage a conversation - are incredibly obvious indicators of a lonely life.


13 posted on 05/16/2012 9:48:02 AM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow (Can't afford a ticket back from Suffragette City)
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To: Brandonmark

I think our sense of community started falling apart long before Facebook.


14 posted on 05/16/2012 9:50:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: ottbmare

I so agree. I was forced to move to GA, and without the internet, and eventually Facebook, I would have been so much more isolated. I am a member of a group of conservative ladies on FB who share my hobby, and we are incredibly close, even though most of us have never met in person. Last week I went out with a couple friends from high school which wouldn’t have happened without Facebook. I also keep track of my cousins, and know far more about their lives than I ever have.


15 posted on 05/16/2012 9:52:17 AM PDT by Politicalmom (THIS IS NOT A GOP CHEERLEADING SITE!!!)
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

So, if it wasn’t for Facebook, those people would have a thriving social life? I doubt it.


16 posted on 05/16/2012 9:54:56 AM PDT by Politicalmom (THIS IS NOT A GOP CHEERLEADING SITE!!!)
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To: Larry Lucido
"Folks managed to be lonely for years without facebook. Life is what you make of it, facebook or no facebook."

Agreed. I actually got onto it because it was a convenient way to share pictures with others of events we all were at. I found that through that, I was able to connect with long lost Marine buddies so that was great. However, other than picture sharing, I rarely go on it. I don't have the time for it. As the article points out, it's a tool. If you use it to organize social events such as parties, games, etc. it's a good thing. If facebook is your social event, it's a bad thing.
17 posted on 05/16/2012 10:02:06 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

I use fcebook to see if the women I am interested in are involved before I waste my time.


18 posted on 05/16/2012 10:06:34 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Brandonmark; y'all
And Twitter makes an excellent news aggregator, epecially for breaking news, but is a very poor social interaction medium.

It seems people post articles either into a black hole or AT one another. Responses are of course so constrained by the character limit, that the service's structure works against real engagement.

I understand their reasons for the design, but ultimately it doesn't foster either valuable interpersonal relationships or meaningful discussion. So what's the point? As a news medium it's good, but calling it social media is an exaggeration. I think it could be improved, however, but I'm unaware of serious changes that have ever been implemented there. So, Twitter largely blows, if you will.

19 posted on 05/16/2012 10:06:51 AM PDT by Dysart (Zero: Celebrate our soon to be first gay ex-President)
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To: sodpoodle
“The best way to connect with other human beings (besides FR) is to enjoy small talk with store clerks and other people who share our space - even if it’s just for a moment. Surprisingly, young people seem to enjoy a laugh or a funny story -it’s ‘like’ a whole new experience for them.”

I agree with you on this, sodpoodle.

I am “disabled” and sometimes when I'm waiting on doctor/dental appointments, I chat with others. You can tell right away if they are willing to chat or just want to be left alone.

Since I have down times, I spend time in bed with Internet and Free Republic.

Just going to doctor appointments is very draining physically which puts me back in bed again.

At least, I have Free Republic and a few other sites here and there.

I do feel lonely at times, but Free Republic almost always gives me the cure for loneliness!

20 posted on 05/16/2012 10:16:08 AM PDT by hummingbird (I am Breitbart.)
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
I haven't learned how to Facebook but I have several notifications that a message was sent by so and so.

I better get on the Facebook wagon. Sounds like I'm missing out not being connected with close family and friends!

21 posted on 05/16/2012 10:21:01 AM PDT by hummingbird (I am Breitbart.)
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To: Noumenon
I don’t Facebook and I don’t tweet. Waste of time.

Neither do I. If I choose to connect with my family and friends I pick up the phone and we plan a get-together. That simple.

If this cannot be arranged for work schedules then we chat on the phone and catch up until we can meet.

I want to see a face or hear a voice from my frineds and family. It does make a difference.

22 posted on 05/16/2012 10:31:35 AM PDT by caww
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To: Buckeye McFrog

“I think our sense of community started falling apart long before Facebook”.

I have always wondered if people weren’t distanced before Facebook and that made FB more attractive to some. For example, my parents grew up in a town filled with relatives.. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, second Cousins... etc. People today may be more distanced from relatives geographically. People may also have less time to simply get to know neighbors and socialize with them. Facebook promised a way of “friending” hundreds if not thousands of people. Sort of sad.


23 posted on 05/16/2012 10:37:36 AM PDT by momtothree
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To: Noumenon

“I don’t Facebook and I don’t tweet. Waste of time”

In case you didn’t get the memo, Free Republic is “social media”, like it or not.

Just more perceived anonymity here, so you get the “I shot and killed my neighbor’s pets, buried them, and my neighbors never knew what happened to them, HAHAHA!” posts, like yours, and the inevitable cringeworthy sado-homo prison anal rape/torture/murder fantasy posts to be meted out as “justice” that one frequently sees here on crime threads.

You won’t see a lot of posts like those of FB or Twitter.

It’s all just information, useful or not. How one uses these outlets to disseminate or gather information is their business.

Pat Bertram’s take on these article sums it up well http://ptbertram.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/facebook-makes-us-fill-in-the-blank/


24 posted on 05/16/2012 10:50:30 AM PDT by wolficatZ ("We are no longer accepting comments on this article")
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To: Noumenon

I agree on Facebook, disagree on Twitter. Hash tags make information on any important topic readily available to everyone. People often think Twitter is like Facebook, with mundane status updates, but it is far more powerful from a spontaneous information and action standpoint.


25 posted on 05/16/2012 11:00:09 AM PDT by Codeflier (Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama - 4 democrat presidents in a row and counting...)
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To: Brandonmark

I cancelled my Facebook account Saturday after hearing the co-founder moved to Singapore to avoid US taxes. That and the fact employers are now asking for your ID and password.

My children are not happy because now they must send photos to me and call when there is a family event rather than relying on FB posts


26 posted on 05/16/2012 11:17:55 AM PDT by WilliamRobert (Ted Cruz Texas' true conservative)
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To: Brandonmark

27 posted on 05/16/2012 11:52:29 AM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Disambiguator
THAT'S THE FUTURE.

Now that we're there, makes you wonder what the next future will bring.

28 posted on 05/16/2012 1:01:48 PM PDT by Brandonmark (2012: Our Hope IS Change!)
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To: wolficatZ

Let’s be clear about one thing in particular - I take no particular pleasure (although there is some satisfaction in it) in having to put down an undisciplined animal whose owner couldn’t be bothered to restrain in a responsible manner. When it comes to a choice between my horses and an animal who has, despite two warnings to its owner repeatedly run them in their turnout, there is only one answer. Idaho law explicitly supports it. Note that although we share the area with coyotes we have yet to shoot one because they don’t bother our livestock.

I therefore have no qualms whatsoever about taking such action. Same deal with feral cats we can’t catch and other critters hazardous to our own.

As for anonymity, you may have noticed that I publish my essays under my own name for all to see. I retain my screen name for the sake of convenience only, as it is a recognizable handle.

In conclusion, take your snarky response and stuff it. You clearly have no understanding of life in the country and the circumstances and responsibilities that accompany it.


29 posted on 05/16/2012 1:05:55 PM PDT by Noumenon (If people saw socialists for what they truly are, slaughter would ensue - in self-defense.)
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To: Brandonmark

30 posted on 05/16/2012 1:09:47 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: Brandonmark
Meanwhile, since no one else posted her picture:

Yvette Vickers (August 26, 1928 – 2010 ?)

31 posted on 05/16/2012 3:06:15 PM PDT by Brandonmark (2012: Our Hope IS Change!)
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To: Brandonmark
Now that we're there, makes you wonder what the next future will bring.

Sometimes, I'm not so sure I want to find out.

32 posted on 05/16/2012 9:52:06 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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