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Updating Facebook status makes one less lonely: fact or fiction?
The social networking websites act as a parallel world in today's time. While the trend is really dangerous but more than often we feel happy and content when one of our tweets is re-tweeted or liked, commented and shared by many. Supporting this fact is a research conducted by Fenne Deters, a psychology researcher at Free University Berlin, which shows that people feel less lonely when they update their Facebook statuses.

SEEKING TO know more about the trend, I talked to a number of people who access and are quite active on Facebook. Ashish Arora keeps everyone updated about his personal life through Facebook. “Many times, we are in a situation where we don’t find the right person to share bitter experiences of life with. Sometimes it so happens that we are not in a mental position to share things with our close ones directly, due to some hesitation or emotional blockage.”

“In these situations, sharing it on Facebook can help as we talk about our feelings and people listen. This acts as a companion and who can be lonely in presence of such a superb platform? While agreeing, I would also add that there is no match for a human touch,” Arora says.

This emotion of 'no other match for human touch' was shared by many yet people share more on Facebook than on a day-to-day basis.

Clinical psychologist Dherandra Kumar gives three reasons for the fact that people would rather share their thoughts on Facebook than talk about it to family or friends. “In case of family there is always a chance of a negative feedback, which is minimal in case of Facebook. If people update status, normally other people react in a positive manner,” says Kumar.

He adds that Facebook gives us the option of sharing our thoughts with selective people and that is why we are so comfortable with this world and most importantly the updates are not shared in person. Sometimes writing about something is far easier than saying it to a person. Hence this fact is true that people feel less lonely on Facebook and they share more.

Shuchi Jain lives and breathes social networking websites. She feels that 20 per cent of the population doesn’t actually share that much while the 80 per cent do share the most intimate thoughts on social networking websites. While this does make them less lonely, however, the charm that stems from leaving behind some mystery evaporates. In spite of being quite an active member of the social world, Jain loves to keep some of the age-old mystery alive and advises people to do the same.

Negating this thought is Rajat Bhatia, who feels that people should be vocal about their thoughts. He adds, “I think somewhere it is true that people feel less lonely after updating their Facebook status. It is more than just a need to tell others what one is doing.”

Samta Nayar, a person who is far removed from the world of Facebook is really happy with the way life has worked out for her. It is her choice to not share the virtual world and taking her view on the subject was mandatory. She explains, “I think it all boils down to habits. I am not in the habit of using Facebook and hence do not feel the absence of it at all. I don't feel lonely as I share all my thoughts with my mother and really close friends. So for me, this is another complication of the modern world and we should not take it too seriously.”

Ashim Sunam, sports journalist and an avid Facebook user also supports the fact that Facebook is just a virtual world. He makes his point with a question, “What has 'FB status' - the virtual world got to do with the real world?” Thus while everyone feels less lonely in the cocoon of the virtual world, the real world also has its charms and both the world do and can co-exist.

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