Facebook is a popular social media platform that allows users to connect with friends and family through updates and photos, and join and participate in groups. The length to which the Facebook helps or hinders those who are lonely is not conclusive.
One way of using Facebook to combat loneliness is by joining groups, (virtual) communities of people who share similar interests. By joining a group on Facebook, a person can connect with others who share similar hobbies, passions, or goals. People who are lonely can use the utilise these features of Facebook to the find other people with similar interests.
There are several ways that a person can use Facebook to find groups of interest. Some of the most common methods include:
- Searching: You can use the search bar at the top of their Facebook homepage to search for groups by keywords. For example, a person could search for “movie groups” or “book clubs”. From the displayed list of groups in the results page, you can then also filter based on location.
- Browsing: You can also browse for groups by clicking on the “Groups” link on the left-hand sidebar of their Facebook homepage. This will show you a list of groups that they might be interested in based on the groups they’ve joined in the past and the groups their friends are a member of.
- Suggestions: When you joins a group, Facebook will also suggest similar groups based on your interests, groups joined, and groups your friends joined.
- Group Suggestions from Facebook Page: When you like a Facebook page, you will then be given the option to see suggested groups related to the page interests.
- Group Discovery Feature: Facebook also has a dedicated feature called “Group Discovery”, which is a curated list of groups based on users interests, location, and demographic. (See https://www.facebook.com/help/197647530805955 for more information)
- Facebook Marketplace: Some groups of interest are created to sell, buy or swap certain items in the same geographic location, Facebook marketplace also allows to filter by this criteria and find groups related to the subject. You can also filter based on distance from your location. (See https://www.facebook.com/marketplace)
By using one or more of these methods, you can find groups of interest on Facebook and connect with others who share their interests.
Dibb, B., & Foster, M. (2021, January 19). Loneliness and facebook use: The role of social comparison and rumination. Heliyon. Retrieved January 11, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820562/
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Marche, S. (2020, January 21). Is Facebook making us lonely? The Atlantic. Retrieved January 11, 2023, from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/05/is-facebook-making-us-lonely/308930/