Thursday, April 19, 2012

Attn. Facebook friends: “connection is not a bond”

Yvette Vickers in Attack Of The Giant Leeches. (Photo courtesy of

In an article at the Atlantic, Stephen Marche asks, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? He convincingly concludes: “What Facebook reveals is that connection is not the same thing as a bond.”

The provocative piece begins:

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

Yvette Vickers, a former Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space.


  1. That definitely gives a creepy feeling, doesn't it? Just the heater and the computer to keep one company.

    I have to wonder... did she not even have some pets to link eyes with? And why would a person choose such an existence?

  2. Hi, SYD,

    That's an extreme example of why social networking is not an adequate substitute for real life relationships. Maybe it's my rural background that prompts me to interact with others wherever I happen to be. Yesterday, I met with my writers' group at the local library branch. I arrived early and waited for the others in the adjoining coffee shop. I know the staff there and was checking in with Darlene and Morelle when a couple of other customers joined the conversation. When my writers' group arrived, I introduced them to all present and for several minutes before our meeting began, we enjoyed a lively and refreshing conversation. A people to people gathering is so much more satisfying than our virtual connections.

    At the same time, I remember with nostalgia the 08 presidential election when I connected with several inspiring, like-minded bloggers like yourself, Lady Boomer, Heidi Li, et al.

  3. A correlation can be made via the business world as well. Businesses that actually have a shingle do 50 times better sales than businesses that simply have a web address.

    1. Meant to write, Businesses that actually have a shingle along with their internet sales do 50 times better in sales than businesses that simply have a web address.

  4. Hi Alessandro,

    I'm not surprised by your comment. I occasionally buy a book online or something I need and can't find locally. But I habitually handle most of my errands in my neighborhood where I know my around and have established relationships with people I do business with.