Collecting cats and loading up on ice cream are the lonely spinster warning signs of yore, but now the key alarm bells may be digital, claims a survey focusing on social networking usage. It says if a person is hooked on LCD screens and mouseclicks, it doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends they’re boasting, they’re probably pretty damn lonely.
Seems about right. Have you ever observed people who can’t stop texting? They could be hanging out with their girlfriend or out for coffee with a friend, but there they are, rudely clicking away. You know them when you see them—they’re the folks that always seem desperate for attention and have a great need to feel popular.
Doubtless, connecting digitally is a solid tool, but we’d be fools to think it has the depth of real, in-person connections. For that, you’ve gotta get off the damn couch, put down the cell phone and log off Facebook.
This is precisely what the annual Relationships Indicators Survey from Australia found, with 40% of those using four types of technology (think Facebook, text, email) to stay in touch with friends and family reporting the highest levels of loneliness.
The less logging in the better, it seems. Those using just one technological outlet to reach out didn’t report feelings of loneliness.
So, if you want to feel really loved, popular, connected, happy and fulfilled, you may want to disconnect and, oh, I don’t know, call me crazy, but actually call someone up for some face time. Just saying.