One of the most painful feelings is loneliness. This feeling can cause severe depression, suicide, and even mass murder. What researchers found was that limiting your use of social media decreases your risk of loneliness and depression. While it is not clear if social media causes loneliness and depression, or if lonely and depressed people use social media more often than others do, it is clear that Facebook is not a real substitute for intimacy. After all, it is intimacy that reduces loneliness.
Why Facebook is Dangerous
Loneliness causes depression, and those who are lonely might even attempt suicide. One in five people with major depression attempts to commit suicide. Sometimes people who commit suicide feel that they are alone, by themselves, against the world. They sometimes see no way out and do not believe that other people love them.
Feelings like this can worsen when seemingly better-off peers post successful pictures on Facebook. In such a world, a lonely person might feel like no one understands him or her. In the frenzy to establish connections with others, you might want to try to keep up with them on Facebook, only to find out that these so-called Facebook “friends” are not really friends at all.
When you live in a competitive economy like America’s, Facebook “frenemies” are more common. Online bullying and subconscious competition might cause you to become more mentally unstable.
What is more, mass murders and mass shootings are becoming increasingly more common. This is while our world tries to become more social media-reliant, especially in capitalist countries where Instagram posters might become Instagram millionaires. It is no wonder that glittery posts on social media have increased the perception of injustice between groups of people. Happiness is, after all, relative.
Many mass shooters and school shooters lashed out after perceiving themselves as being rejected by those around them, such as by women, by bullies, or by ex-lovers. The lives of these men are full of loneliness and yearning for intimacy.
Facebook and Intimacy
As researchers found, decreasing your usual use of social media leads to significant decreases in loneliness and depression. What you might need to remember is that Facebook is not a substitute for real-life intimacy. In fact, what you see on Facebook might be a lie.