In William Deresiewicz’s “The End of Solitude”, he argues the point that due to technology man is never truly alone anymore. He doesn’t particularly argue a certain side of the issue; he doesn’t claim that it is a good nor a bad thing.
He begins the article by claiming that the human being “wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible.” Whether this is the fantasy of being on a reality TV show or a well-watched talk show or even just being popular on your social networks, one thing is for certain and that is that everyone wants to feel connected, heard, loved and important at any given time.
I’ve learned from running social media accounts for a few small companies that the most popular posts aren’t actually posts with real substance. For example, DubEra.com is a music news outlet that specializes in music festivals. While a recap video of an insane music festival might yield a dozen likes and a few comments, a status asking our viewers “Who is your all time favorite jam band?” will yield 30-something responses from viewers who want to be heard. In return, the post is seen by twice as many people as a post with material, which of course leads to more likes and a growing brand.
It is insane to think of how things worked only 50 short years ago. If you wanted to hang out with your buddy, you had to go by his house and hope he was home. If you had plans to meet someone at the fair, you could both go and never find each other. That concept is crazy because it is not a reality anymore, not at all. Facebook groups can congregate thousands of people at the click of a few buttons. Mass text messages can easily let every person in your contacts list know that you are having a party Friday at 10pm. Technology has made it so we never have to be alone, and I think we really like it that way.