An interesting caveat was added to an article in the Daily Mail a few days ago regarding the loneliness of young adults. The article stated that loneliness is on the increase due to people using social media. The article stated that one in seven finds it difficult to make any lasting relationship either socially or romantically. Stating that young people are generally too scared to talk to strangers. An interesting aside of this is in the book by Dr Joseph Shrand Outsmarting Anger he makes an interesting comment, saying that lack of eye contact can be an indication that someone is suspicious. If we think about the amount of time people are looking at screens today obsessed with updating their Facebook status, or tweeting or generally keeping in touch with the world via email, people generally never look up from their screens and thus don’t make eye contact.
Dr Shrand makes an interesting comment, in his book saying that averting our gaze can disrupt what is called the social brain network; effectively the connections in the brain are not made because we haven’t made eye contact with others.
Dr Rebecca Hart of the University of Bolton is stated in the article saying that our brains treat loneliness the same way as physical pain. Due to the advent of social networking one of the downsides is that we are spending less time on social interaction, making fewer real friends rather than cyber friends.
What is an interesting comment made by one young man is that he considers his friends online as friends but has never seen their faces. It is known that 80% of all communication is non-verbal, even though we have screens where we can see people’s faces we can’t really see their movements.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but if this report is true, living in a cyber-world can leave us lonely and isolated, without any real friends. Furthermore, according to Dr Hart it can also be physically painful.
Loneliness affects everybody, and are often seen as something that happens in later life, but if this report is true, it is happening earlier and earlier and social isolation is becoming more a fact of life.