Facebook: An Authentic Tool for Social Communication or a Dangerous Medium of Isolation?

Magdalena Poweska

Abstract


As I sit down to write this paper, I cannot help but notice that my Facebook page is open, albeit in a minimized window within the background workings of my laptop. The seeming need to be connected to an online social network is so automatic, that it has almost become second in nature. Having an online presence – an online identity for that matter - fulfills a need so strong, that to be pulled away or disconnected becomes almost daunting to envision. This attachment to the artifact of Facebook provides grounds for discussing the topic of the use of media of social communications as a tool for the authentic betterment and progress of people and communities. By consulting a variety of scholarly sources on the topic, I will argue that while the use of Facebook and other similar mediums for communication can facilitate human discourse and enrich relationships, the non-conscious need for self-gratification is what ultimately attaches people to online social networking sites such as Facebook. Although some may say that self- gratification is an integral human need that must be fulfilled, such an approach to social media may indirectly result in an individual’s isolation. Thus, this neglects the ethical principle of what the Church teaches media should be: a contribution to authentic human development, which allows individuals to be true to their transcendent destiny.

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