How Social Media Isolates Us [Video]

This video came out last year, so I’m a bit late in sharing this. But it illustrates how social networks affect our interactions and expectations of others—and why they might make us lonelier. Granted, there are a lot of generalizations made, but it’s worth watching.

We’re expecting more from technology, and less from each other.

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After watching this, it struck me that it sounded familiar. Then I re-read the messages our Holy Fathers have been sharing about technology for years.

  • 2011: “In the digital age too, everyone is confronted by the need for authenticity and reflection. When people exchange information, they are already sharing themselves, their view of the world, their hopes, their ideals.” —Pope Benedict XVI, 45th World Communications Day
  • 2012: “Ultimately, this constant flow of questions demonstrates the restlessness of human beings, ceaselessly searching for truths, of greater or lesser import, that can offer meaning and hope to their lives. Men and women cannot rest content with a superficial and unquestioning exchange of skeptical opinions and experiences of life.” —Pope Benedict XVI, 46th World Communications Day
  • 2013: “At times the gentle voice of reason can be overwhelmed by the din of excessive information and it fails to attract attention which is given instead to those who express themselves in a more persuasive manner.” —Pope Benedict XVI, 47th World Communications Day
  • 2014: “The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings. The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us.” —Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day

I just thought it was particularly interesting—society can try to perpetuate the stereotype that the Church is “out of touch,” but when it comes to the psychology of the Internet, the Church is, once again, dead on.

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Author:Clare Zajicek

Clare Zajicek is a Catholic wife, mom, and Marketing professional working in the Milwaukee area.
  • Caroline Cerveny, SSJ-TOSF

    Clare, perhaps this is one perspective that has another more positive side. I’ve heard many stories from others over the years of how various social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more have “enhanced” the face-to-face relationships with others. Therefore, community becomes an option while using technology instead of loneliness.

    • Clare Zajicek

      Absolutely! Pope Francis even acknowledged the Internet was a “gift from God.” But I think the video speaks to the idea that social networks can easily become “noise,” and from a Catholic perspective I think it’s important to simply be aware of how distracting networks can become.

      I don’t mean this to be about church Facebook pages, but personal networks where, for instance, I can connect with my friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, the coffee shop down the street, or my favorite brand of shoes.