Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

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2/21/13 Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? - Stephen Marche - The Atlantic www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/308930/ 1/8
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Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
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.
By Stephen Marche
YVETTE VICKERS, A FORMER Playboy playmate and B­movie 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.
The Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Mummified Body of Former Playboy Playmate
Yvette Vickers Found in Her Benedict Canyon Home,” which quickly went viral. Within two weeks, by
Technorati’s count, Vickers’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and
881 tweets. She had long been a horror­movie icon, a symbol of Hollywood’s capacity to exploit our most basic fears in the silliest ways; now she was an icon of a new and different kind of horror: our growing fear of loneliness. Certainly she received much more attention in death than she did in the final years of her life. With no children, no religious

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