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Old 11-26-2019, 03:39 PM
Yankees 1996 Champs is offline
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Society, friendship and social isolation


People around the world see societal changes, friendship decline and social isolation decrease, especially in today's twenty-first (21st century) since 2001, when world technology has increased.

In the 1970s and 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, there was no Instagram, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, cellphone/smartphone texting, and other forms of communication.


Don't get me wrong: technology has given the world a boost. It makes us more aware. But it makes us turn to ideological/racial/tribal bubbles.

It causes social isolation as well.

Have you noticed, since the early 1990s, when world technology increased in the late '80s/90s, skyrocketed since, people are more socially isolated?


Especially in the Western World.

American families have decreased.

It's the 2019-20 holiday season here in America.

Some Americans, of all races, white, black, Latino, have no friends/family.

Some Americans will spend Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's/winter alone, depressed, etc.

What do you think?
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:41 PM
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If I'm alone during the holidays, it isn't because of Facebook. I'd be alone anyways.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:46 PM
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If I'm alone during the holidays, it isn't because of Facebook. I'd be alone anyways.
Why?
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:52 PM
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Why?
Family is 2000 miles away, few friends. I'm a loner by nature, but that was long before social media existed.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
Some Americans will spend Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's/winter alone, depressed, etc.

What do you think?
I think that some Americans have always spent Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's/winter alone, depressed, etc.

But thanks to social media we know about it more.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:39 PM
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I think that some Americans have always spent Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's/winter alone, depressed, etc.

But thanks to social media we know about it more.

Winter in the Midwest is probably depressing.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:57 PM
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I think your OP would make for the great start of a university study.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:58 PM
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I think it's plausible people are more isolated now than in the past, but I don't think it follows that people are spending holidays alone because of social media.

Many of us do a lot of our shopping online now, which reduces our incidental contact with sales clerks and fellow shoppers. While we were never going to spend Christmas with those people, I do think there might be some value in those interactions, and something lost in trading them for the convenience and solitude of browsing on our phones or computers. There's probably more value in office water cooler chats, and more lost by telecommuting.

It seems like fewer people in my generation (older millennials) are sending Christmas cards than in generations past. Maybe fewer of us are attending high school reunions, too; I'm not sure because I don't care to go. Part of that may be because we can easily keep up with casual acquaintances on social media. But remaining "friends" on Facebook is a passive act, while taking the time to send even a form newsletter to a specific person is a little bit more of a signal that you still care about them. Does that make it easier to pick up the phone and try to arrange some actual face-to-face contact? I dunno. Social media at least makes it easy to make a low-stakes overture by liking or commenting on someone's post, which if the other person responds favorably can open the door to establishing further contact.

I've been limiting my use of Facebook because all the privacy issues are skeeving me out. But it's hard to walk away entirely, because it's such a useful tool for meeting other divers and arranging group dives. If it really were just an echo chamber of nostalgia and political bickering, I would've quit years ago. But it actually does help me get out there IRL.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
Some Americans, of all races, white, black, Latino, have no friends/family.

Some Americans will spend Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's/winter alone, depressed, etc.

What do you think?
I think that these statements have been true for as long as there have been americans.

I also think that, if I didn't happen to live in the same town as my parents and two of my siblings, I would end up spending the holidays alone. And I don't use social media at all.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:40 PM
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I guess I can see how social media exacerbates isolation. Things like Facebook allow people to focus their energy on "keeping up" with everyone via electrons, thereby diverting energy that might otherwise be devoted to face-to-face interactions and socialization.

But I don't think social media creates isolation. I think there other factors are responsible for that.
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Old 11-26-2019, 05:57 PM
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There are some times when I spend a holiday alone because I can't face the traffic.

Social media ain't got nothing to do with it.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:27 PM
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As a caveat, there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.

With that in mind, NPR's report about loneliness studies was interesting and also scary. According to the report: "Members of Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, had an overall loneliness score of 48.3. Millennials, just a little bit older, scored 45.3. By comparison, baby boomers scored 42.4. The Greatest Generation, people ages 72 and above, had a score of 38.6 on the loneliness scale.

"In fact, some research published in 2017 by psychologist Jean Twenge at San Diego State University suggests that more screen time and social media may have caused a rise in depression and suicide among American adolescents. The study also found that people who spend less time looking at screens and more time having face-to-face social interactions are less likely to be depressive or suicidal."

However, "However, the Cigna survey didn't find a correlation between social media use and feelings of loneliness." Much of it seemed to depend on how social media is consumed, though.

I'm a bit surprised, and sad, but none of my teenaged daughters do what I did in high school, which was hang out with friends during weekends. They'll text and chat with friends or family members, but, by and large, real life social interaction is much more anxiety inducing than a positive. It could simply be a matter of personality traits, but I'm only guessing, but I do think that in another decade or two, loneliness and social anxiety will become an issue, akin to bullying. Maybe First Man Hamletdaughter will take it up as a cause.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:33 PM
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I often think of Isaac Asimov's The Naked Sun, which takes place on a planet, Solaria, pop. 20,000. The entire population lives almost their entire lives in complete physical solitude, with robotic companions, and relying on holographic projections of friends and neighbors. They avoid almost all human contact, even being in the same room as someone has reached the point of cultural taboo. Procreation is done rarely, and reluctantly.
When I first read this 30 years ago, it seemed outlandish. Now, not so much.

In reference to the OP, though, human nature is adaptive. When someone is alone, or anti-social, it's often not loneliness, because our social interactions are evolving into a different form. But it is frequently solitude, which is different, mainly in that there's less of a stigma associated with it. The less contact we have with the outside world, the more adjusted to it we become. As much as 10 years ago, I wouldn't have wrapped my head around staying inside to do all of my shopping. "Get me outside, where I can see, and touch what I'm buying!" My wife, on the other hand, being of a different generation, doesn't hesitate to shun the malls and shopping centers. If she can avoid the grocery store, she does. She'd be a great Solarian.

Conversely, Social anxiety is on the rise. Even the culture outside of our living rooms is reflecting this.
Go into McDonald's. There's an ordering kiosk in front of the registers. You can order and pay, without the terror of interacting with another person. Those are used even when there's not a line at the counter.

Go to a concert. A large portion of people are filming with their phones, not actually being present in the audience. Even when they're right there, it seems as if the experience is being filtered through the comfort of the screen.
(OK Boomer)

It does seem that we're separating ourselves more and more from each other, and self-insulating against anything unpleasant, or uncomfortable. This encourages us to seek out others (virtually, of course) who are similar to us, and give us a sense of security; leading to an increased tribalism, and widening the gaps between people with different beliefs, and even tastes.

Is that getting worse now than it was in the past? I can't answer that.

But I agree that we are seeing it more frequently, wired to the entire world in our immobility.
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Old 11-26-2019, 06:40 PM
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It's a contrived holiday anyway ("It's only a model").
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:11 PM
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This feels more MPSIMSish. Moving it yonder.
  #16  
Old 11-26-2019, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racepug View Post
I think your OP would make for the great start of a university study.

True.

I have been searching the webs online, some people blame the growing social isolation on the post-9/11/2001 society and social media, technology and "capitalism" and "suburbanization which leads to single-family homes and low density areas".

https://www.democraticunderground.com/10024678065

https://domz60.wordpress.com/2016/10...ential-living/
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:47 PM
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This feels more MPSIMSish. Moving it yonder.
I still think it would have been happier/more productive in IMHO. But youíre right, Iím not the boss of you. Iím STILL not gonna apply to join the moderator staff.
  #18  
Old 11-26-2019, 10:18 PM
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I feel that cellphones and social media help to communicate with people who are far from each other. I'm friends with my entire family on Facebook with me. And we can call each other on our cellphones and text each other from anywhere.
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Old 11-26-2019, 10:40 PM
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I feel that cellphones and social media help to communicate with people who are far from each other. I'm friends with my entire family on Facebook with me. And we can call each other on our cellphones and text each other from anywhere.
True.

But what about people who are lonely in their communities.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:01 AM
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But what about people who are lonely in their communities.
They've always been there and they always will.
  #21  
Old 11-27-2019, 09:21 AM
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I'm alone but hardly lonely. For the most part, I find interacting with people to take too much effort. I am not a people person.

I will not be alone tomorrow. I'll be at work as a store cashier, where I only have to interact with each person for maybe three minutes.
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Old 11-27-2019, 09:21 AM
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Have you read Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert D. Putnam?
  #23  
Old 11-27-2019, 11:20 AM
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There are some times when I spend a holiday alone because I can't face the traffic.

Social media ain't got nothing to do with it.
Its 8:15 am on Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. Its already raining like hell. Im not leaving the apartment to bike to Ralphs much less battle the 405 to Orange County. I totally agree with you.
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Old 11-27-2019, 12:21 PM
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The only person I ever feel like being with on Thanksgiving Day is my spouse. As for Xmas, I don't celebrate that particular holiday (anymore). Nothing to do with religion, but I no longer have anything to do with my parents or my (adopted) sister and not buying anybody any gifts is my personal statement on consumerism and materialism in this country.
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