Advanced Essay #3 [Isolation in Humanity]

My goals for this paper was to properly identify what isolation does to isolated/lonely people and integrate social media into one of the reasons for it. My intent was not to bash social media to say that it shouldn't be allowed, just so that the audience could see how it can affect others. 


Isolation and separation will cause the human race to go extinct. To elaborate, very little social interaction between people can be detrimental to one's health both mentally and physically. One New York Times article states that, “Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones.” This isn’t all, one of the reasons that we isolate ourselves is because we live in a modernized era, and social media doesn't do enough to help us when it comes to socializing. It only pushes a divide. With social media, we are only connected with people through their online presence and our perceptions of them.

In the Merriam webster dictionary, isolation is defined as, “the state of being alone or kept apart from others.” The given definition of isolation implies that there are multiple types of isolation and that within these types of isolation, there is one where people are forcefully set or casted away from other people, as well as one where people are set into a condition where they feel the need to be alone. Although these two different types of isolation may have different causes, they often have the same effects on a person. Humans are a social species, we have evolved to be dependant on each other in order to live our everyday lives, if something were to get in the way of human interaction it would be detrimental to our entire social ecosystem. It has been known that people who are isolated are at a greater risk to suffering from multiple illnesses, but it was soon discovered by a psychologist, Steve Cole alongside UCLA students, that in response to isolation, the human body can disrupt the activity of genes that make antibodies to fight infections of all types, as well as increasing the amount of genes that are responsible for inflammation. Humans need physical interaction with other humans in order to survive, without it we begin to deteriorate from the inside out.   

Social media is a new platform that was recently introduced into society and in such a short time it has evolved rather quickly. Social media platforms main goals are to allow people from all across the globe to interact with each other and give people who have never met before the ability to communicate with one another. Although this is the initial intent of social media, it is also quite misleading. An article from CNN links a study that states that, “Young adults with high social media usage seem to feel more socially isolated than their counterparts with lower social media usage.” Being on social media doesn’t always mean that people are being more social, sometimes it means that people are hiding behind it. It’s how they appear online that often blocks their real presence, and unaware with how they actually spend their time, their lives become warped into this reality that isn’t tangible, as it is only lived through screens.

There was once a time where I isolated myself from individuals and barricaded myself from the outside world. As a result of doing this, I spent most of my time on social media, even within the presence of other people. For awhile, I felt perfectly fine being this person that didn’t speak to others. I thought it was okay, but I unknowingly barricaded myself within this mental forretress that I made. This barrier that was built up against everyone in my life began to trap me inside. When I realized that I had been isolating myself, it became even harder for me to interact with other individuals. I had no real social skills and I was awkward to talk to. With my phone as my social crutch it was far too hard to try and communicate with other people. I began to ask myself, “Why do I feel so boring?” What I had once thought was working for me as a barricade began to cage me in like an animal, trapping me until I learned through interaction with other people, how to take down those barriers one by one.

Isolation and separation goes against human needs, with the emergence of social media in our society, we will feel as if we are more isolated from the outside world. This is a societal norm that will need to be continuously challenged by humanity. If this is not properly challenged humans will be at risk for major health illnesses, including heart attacks. Real-life interaction is the only way our modern-day society will be able to survive. Our society isn’t fit to cage ourselves in, because that’s not who we are.