Social Networking, Depression, and Isolation

SEO on Social Networking, Isolation, and Depression


Almost two years ago, I told you that rather than bringing people closer together, social networking causes isolation and depression. Here at our little a-few-thousand-visitors-per-month outpost, that story attracts visitors, every day, even now (proving, again, that this research on the half-life of an Internet link is flawed).

If you can read the tiny second graphic above, you’ll see that the big three search engines rank that two-year-old piece pretty well for the phrases “social networking isolation” and “social networking depression“, despite it being the one and only time I’ve talked about the topic. That speaks, of course, to the way we do Search Engine Optimization at Answer Guy Central, and of course to the validity of our ideas about long-tail marketing.

Now here’s a new idea: Six Degrees of Separation? That’s so pre-social networking.

A new study shows that there aren’t six degrees of separation any longer. At least, there aren’t that many degrees on Facebook. At the world’s favorite social network, there are just 4.74 degrees separating a person chosen randomly from another random person.

If you read that article, you’ll see that there are some questions as to the methodology of the study, not the least of which is that it was conducted specifically on Facebook users. That’s called “using a self-selecting sample” and speaks to a point I’ve made several times here: statistics lie. But it also makes something clear: social networking in general and Facebook in particular are genuinely shrinking the world.

There’s good and bad in that. A genuinely smaller world is more likely to come up with solutions to problems like war and famine; the brighter the light shined on a problem, the better chance there is at solving it. But the bad side is that with so much information flying about between so many people and so much background noise as a result, it’s harder than ever to be heard—or found.

Do I need to say it again? Well, yes, sure I do, both because I want to be heard and because I want you to be:

Search Engine Optimization matters. Want to know how? Contact me, right now:

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