Yet the inference that technology and the Internet is making us feel more lonesome may simply be incorrect, researchers say today. Yes, loneliness does affect a broad spectrum of people, but technology cannot be the only scapegoat.
In fact, a Pew Internet & American Life Project study released last year says the opposite of what previous studies assert: People who use technology have notable social advantages. They stay in touch and share information in ways that keep them socially active and connected to their communities. This is especially true with online social networking, which wasn't around in 1998 or 2003. And for senior citizens, using technology can keep the brain healthy.
"Technology does not seem to be the cause of isolation and loneliness," says Lee Rainie, director of Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. "The people who use technology have bigger networks and more diverse networks than people who don't. People who are social networkers are, in all cases, at least engaged with their communities more than people who don't use social networking sites."
The Pew study lays out some interesting conclusions: Frequent Internet users, and those who maintain a blog, are more likely to confide in someone who is of another race. And those who share photos online are more likely to report they discuss important matters with someone who is a member of another political party.Read More