It seems all you hear about these days is people being laid off, loosing money in the stock market, maybe even losing their homes. When it’s all too much, and the unfortunate victims of this global economic perfect storm need someone to turn to for comfort and help, they’re heading straight for social networks.
Rising foreclosures, tumbling stocks, surging job losses, and other symptoms of the recession are adding to people’s stress and anxiety levels. To cope, Internet users are increasingly finding an outlet through online social media. “These new channels are providing a sense of community in an environment where there is a sudden, almost compelled, need…not to feel alone,” says Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies of science and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Some are logging on to vent frustrations; many are commiserating with others. Still others are collaborating to find solutions, like landing a new job or helping friends in need.