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wundayatta's avatar

Why do we need social networking sites so much that we visit them every day?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) March 4th, 2009

A lot of people complain about (or brag about) being addicted to fluther or Askville (the only two I know about). I think that people wouldn’t become “addicted” if these places weren’t providing something really important that we don’t get elsewhere or that is better than what we got elsewhere. What is it that these places provide us?

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26 Answers

Bri_L's avatar

I freelance and do contract work out of my home. Sights like fluther and facebook are like my co-workers. That way I don’t go crazy.

Also, sometimes you just need to go where everybody knows your name.

elijah's avatar

I’m bored all day since I’m not working, and you can only talk to your dog so much before you feel crazy. That’s why I started fluthering. Am I addicted? Yes, a little bit. I look forward to coming back. It’s nice to have a place to get your opinions out. I like reading about other peoples problems and helping if I can.
Everyone feels better when they feel listened to.

Bri_L's avatar

@elijahsuicide – that is a great point!

dynamicduo's avatar

Humans are simply social creatures. We love to talk and share. Look how influential and pervasive culture is (not to mention how many different cultures there are). These sites let us communicate with others, which forms bonds between people. It’s only natural that one would want to keep this bond (if that’s what one wants), and one would do that by visiting the site constantly.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

I’m a stay at home mom, so this is the only adult interaction I get during the day.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@elijahsuicide – Exactly. Right down to the “I can’t talk to the dog anymore” feeling.

elijah's avatar

@aprilsimnel maybe we can get our dogs together for a playdate LOL.

Jack79's avatar

fluther is not a social networking site, but it seems people use it that way

we need social networking (whether online or off), which is why we visit sites that offer it to us (in whatever way). It’s not even a mystery.

zephyr826's avatar

I adore Fluther. My friends in college would spend hours each day “facebook-stalking”. I never understood the feeling until now. Currently, I fluther because I literally can’t speak – I have NO voice at all. It’s frustrating for a teacher; ergo, I have to share my experience and knowledge on the web. :)

May2689's avatar

I love fluther because it gives me a chance to talk about different things and interact with people that I dont know. Some of these conversations would never happen with my boyfriend or my friends. It helps me vent.

Bagardbilla's avatar

As our society (de) evolves and new modes of interactions (some perfect, others not so much), are presented we look to adopt these modes into our ongoing human dialogues.
We cannot stop being the social creatures we are…
@jack You beat to it.

Mr_M's avatar

If you sincerely feel you NEED a social networking site, then I think it’s time you stayed off the computer for a few weeks and interacted with REAL human beings.

marissa's avatar

As a stay at home mom, I can tell you that I enjoy the opportunity to interact and share info/ideas with other adults. Actually, since I have been able to devote more time to volunteering this year, I haven’t been on as much, but I keep coming back, because I enjoy the people here and I am able to read a wide range of opinions and thoughts that I would not otherwise have the opportunity to hear.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I keep coming back to here & AV because I’ve made friends with a lot of people that I have deep relationships with. We share our days just like I do with some of my “real” friends & family. Some members here I all but look for their questions & answers. Some I see their names & avatars & I just know it’s going to be an eye roller post. But for the ones I’m close to, I care about them, & I feel that they care about me.

LostInParadise's avatar

This site has a fairly large group of people and it includes people who are quite frankly more knowledgeable and more in tune to my way of thinking than I can find in my everyday life. The people overall here are fairly high caliber.

There are questions I can ask here and answers that I can give, hiding behind my avatar, that I would be too embarassed to say in the real world.

There are at least a few people here who, in my mind, have crossed the line from cyber person to real person and whose opinions I particularly value and whose experiences I take an active interest in.

TheBox193's avatar

Belonging. It is part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I think social networking in a way services those natural desires to feel like we fit in and belong.

ubersiren's avatar

It’s a quick fix of human contact, self expression, and a small accomplishment in the matter of a few clicks.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Because people are so afraid if their neighbours that they never speak to them or even make eye contact. Much safer to do it online.

essieness's avatar

For me, Fluther has become addictive because there are actually intelligent people here with something intelligent to add to a conversation. Unfortunately, the people I’m surrounded by on a daily basis are… um… kinda stupid. As far as the other sites go, (like Facebook and so on), my closest friends live all over the country so it’s a great way for us to keep in touch.

mangeons's avatar

I learn a lot of things from Fluther, and the intelligence I find here is so rewarding. Plus I’d miss all the relationships I’ve formed with my fellow Flutherites. I’m on here at least once a day. It’s not an every day thing that a 13 year old gets to hear the opinion on many different subjects from people other than empty-headed, video game addicted, middle schoolers. :) Well, most of them.

cak's avatar

Having driving restricted, due to medical reasons and working from home, it helps break up the day. To me, it’s not a need, it’s a want.

kevinhardy's avatar

to extensively socialize and better our lives.

TheFonz_is's avatar

most people do have an expressive side to them, plus there is a huge element of social proof.. everyone is doing that then left me follow the herd.

Look at the ipod when you want a music player most people know the brand and want one because of the fact so many others have got one, ok not everyone but its how they are the biggest selling mp3 device in the world.

Imagine you are an expressive person who constantly feeds off feedback, recognition, appreciation from other people, social networking means that you can get that off people you would never have normally gone to or expressed to at the click of a button.

VzzBzz's avatar

The internet exposes me to groups of people at at time who share similar interests or motivations and I don’t have to waste time perusing local scenes I don’t particularly care fore. Online filters down people and interests pretty quick and a lot of communication can be had in a short time, no physical investment or risk. I’ve made several irl friends from initial online exchanges. Very cool medium.

CMaz's avatar

Honestly…
I love the interaction and communication. The open forum and the unique perspective.
Not going to get such a diverse group of people in one place and feel free to say what is on your mind.
It can be hard to do on here. ;-)

R4's avatar

Humans are social creatures with a native need to interact with other people. However nowadays people don’t interact with each other like they used to do, so hence came the social networks so that people can interact with each other without the actually need to see each other.

In my opinion are the social network only a substitute for real conversations, and we do not need them! Make regular conversations, not war…. I mean social networks!

Note: this is my personal opinion and English isn’t my native language…

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