Advertisement

Online Connectedness as a Cure for Loneliness?

  • Bina NirEmail author
  • Yaron Ariel
Chapter

Abstract

Online social networks have become a central platform for fostering interpersonal relationships among young people. This article seeks to scrutinize whether social relationships on online social networks foster meaningful social connections: Do they relieve feelings of loneliness for those who are otherwise alone, or do they create imaginary connections that only conceal feelings of loneliness. In this chapter, we will analyze the concept of loneliness, regarding its philosophical and psychological/sociological aspects in general, and specifically, expressions of loneliness in a digital environment. We will examine, on the basis of associated scholarly literature, the concept of connectedness, which is considered as one of the dominant elements of digital environments. We will try to answer the question as to whether collaboration on social networks indeed nurtures significant social relationships and enables the individual to become less lonely.

References

  1. Bauman, Zygmunt. 2003. Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benkler, Yochai. 2011. The penguin and the Leviathan: The Triumph of Cooperation over Self-Interest. New York: Crown Business.Google Scholar
  3. Buber, Martin. 1970. I and Thou, ed. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Charles Scribners’s Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Cacioppo, John T., and Louise L. Hawkley. 2003. Social Isolation and Health, with an Emphasis on Underlying Mechanisms. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 46: S39–S52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Christakis, Nicholas A., and James H. Fowler. 2009. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. New York: Little Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  6. Fromm, Erich. 1977. Escape from Freedom. New York, NY: Avon Books.Google Scholar
  7. Graham, Mark, and William H. Dutton (eds.). 2014. Society and the Internet: How Networks of Information and Communication Are Changing Our Lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Halupka, Max. 2014. Clicktivism: A Systematic Heuristic. Policy and Internet 6 (2): 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harpaz, Amos. 2013. The Falsity of Individualism—Spinoza Hegel and the False Image of Modern Man. Tel-Aviv: Resling.Google Scholar
  10. Illouz, Eva. 2008. Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. London: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kalpidou, Maria, Dan Costin, and Jessica Morris. 2011. The Relationship Between Facebook and the Well-Being of Undergraduate College Students. CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 14 (4): 183–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Keen, Andrew. 2012. Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kimchi, Eran. 2010. The Internet: What Is New in the Emergence of Novelty? Tel-Aviv: Resling.Google Scholar
  14. Kirkpatrick, David. 2010. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  15. Lemieux, Robert, Sean Lajoie, and Nathan E. Trainor. 2013. Affinity-Seeking, Social Loneliness, and Social Avoidance Among Facebook Users. Psychological Reports 112 (2): 545–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levinas, Emmanuel. 1986. The Trace of the Other. In Deconstruction in Context, ed. M. Taylor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Lévinas, Emmanuel, and Stephen Melville. 1978. Being and the Other: On Paul Celan. Chicago Review 29 (3): 16–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lou, Lai L., Zheng Yan, Amanda Nickerson, and Robert McMorris. 2012. An Examination of the Reciprocal Relationship of Loneliness and Facebook Use Among First-Year College Students. Journal of Educational Computing Research 46 (1): 105–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Marangoni, Carol, and William Ickes. 1989. Loneliness: A Theoretical Review with Implications for Measurement. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 6: 93–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mill, Stuart J. 1871. On Liberty. Boston, MA: James R. Osgood and Company.Google Scholar
  21. Nicholas, John A. 2017. The Age of Sharing. Malden, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1969. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. R.J. Hollingdale. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  23. Rabi, Lior. 2009. The Burden of Individuality: The Sources of New Ideal of Individuality in Modern Times. Haifa: Pardes.Google Scholar
  24. Ritzer, George, and Douglas J. Goodman. 2003. Sociological Theory, 6th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Google Scholar
  25. Russell, Bertrand. 1996. The Spirit of Solitude 1872–1921. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  26. Satici, Seydi A., Recep Uysal, and M. Engin Deniz. 2016. Linking Social Connectedness to Loneliness: The Mediating Role of Subjective Happiness. Personality and Individual Differences 97: 306–310‏.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schopenhauer, Arthur. 2004. The World as Will and Representation, trans. J. Haoven. Tel-Aviv: Y. Golan.Google Scholar
  28. Shirky, Clay. 2009. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  29. Statista. 2019. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2019, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions). April 2019. https://www.statista.com.
  30. Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D. Williams. 2007. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. New York: Portfolio.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, Charles. 1991. The Malaise of Modernity. Concord, ON: Anansi Press.Google Scholar
  32. Turkle, Sherry. 2011. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  33. Turkle, Sherry. 2015. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. New York, NY: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  34. Valkenburg, Patti M., and Jochen Peter. 2009. The Effects of Instant Messaging on the Quality of Adolescents? Existing Friendships: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Communication 59 (1): 79–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vaterlaus, Mitchell J., Randall M. Jones, Emily V. Patten, and Jerry L. Cook. 2015. An Exploratory Study of Time Spent with Interactive Technology and Body Mass Among Young Adults. Computers in Human Behavior 52: 107–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weiss, Robert S. 1975. Loneliness: The Experience of Emotional and Social Isolation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationThe Max Stern Yezreel Valley CollegeNazarethIsrael

Personalised recommendations