Loneliness and the Internet

Last modified on January 7th, 2007

This is an interesting article. I’ve sort of followed the social write-ups about the effects of the Internet for years. I remember one article years ago saying that despite all of our great technology, people have never felt so isolated or alone as they do in this generation.

Here’s a quote from the article:

A decade ago, when many North Americans were still just starting to go online, Apple, AT&T, Hewlett Packard and Intel funded a research project by Washington University to study the psychological and social effects of using the Internet. While most first-time users went online for social purposes, the studies showed a rapid decline in participation for social activities beyond the net and increases in depression and loneliness. While magazines like Fortune and BusinessWeek boasted the virtues of “interactive” sites such as MySpace and YouTube, most internet users were found to be joining fewer clubs, talking less in-person and hanging out with friends less often. While new tools were allowing people to network faster than ever, studies around the world have pointed to the shrinking social circles of tech-savvy consumers. A June 2006 study by Duke University concluded that the average American today only has two close confidants, while SwissCom Inc. found that 80 percent of all cell phone conversations took place with only four people.

Kind of sad if you think about it.