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Facebook Friends: Reality And Relationship Problems

Facebook notifications have become a drug of choice for millions upon millions of adults around the world. Separated from old friends, constrained by the matters of distance, time, and availability, too many adults are suffering deeply from the disease of loneliness. When Facebook became a website available to more than college students, adults started finding ways to connect to friends from every era of their lives, share their passions and interests, as well as meet new friends nearly every day.

The promise of social media was to connect people all over the world- which it does- and eradicate the threat of loneliness- which it did for a time. However, increasing amounts of research have shown that social media platforms like Facebook are no longer contributing to a lack of loneliness but a greater sense of loneliness causing a devastating impact. Anyone from preteens to teens, young adults to grown adults are feeling isolated, depressed, anxious, and extremely self-conscious due to their interactions with social media. As many adults spend more and more of their time engaging in their online world with their online friends, they are feeling more and more depressed. Facebook friends are phenomenal. Spending real time with real friends in real flesh is what we truly need, especially as adults who are actively recovering from trauma.

Research from Ireland at the globally renowned National University of Ireland at Galway has found that adults using Facebook to fulfill their friendship needs will have more difficult creating secure attachments in the “real world” outside of Facebook. Generally, these adults already have insecure relationships, thus, the minimal responsibility of an online friendship is more appealing to them. In addition, just having relationships to speak of fulfills that need for friendships and attachments. Interestingly, the research also found the these online attachments fulfill the need of coping. Adults in the study who have problematic attachments might have low self-esteem and turn to Facebook “…when they experience high levels of psychological distress such as anxiety, stress, or depression,” according to The Irish World.

Trauma is not the reason why we turn to friendships and our relational attachments in times of distress. Friendship is a fundamental human need- to be recognized, welcomed, and loved by others. It is certainly a sign of digital times, however, that we are turning to an online world of insecure attachments to fulfill that very real need of having friends. Our trauma can keep us in our toxic attachment patterns until we learn to resolve the pains of our past, build the skills we need to life confidently in the present, and grow forward into a fulfilling future.

Everyone’s story starts before treatment. Everyone’s story changes the minute they arrive to treatment. The Guest House Ocala offers residential programming for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues, customized to meet your unique needs. Call us today for information on life at the estate: 1-855-483-7800