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The purpose of this study is to explore the how user perceptions of social media might influence effects on psychological well-being.
- Intimacy and Solitude: Balancing Closeness and Independence
- The Tethered Self: Technology Reinvents Intimacy and Solitude
- Stephanie Dowrick's lessons of intimacy and solitude from the pandemic
- Intimacy & Solitude
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Intimacy and Solitude: Balancing Closeness and Independence
Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Loneliness is also described as social pain —a psychological mechanism which motivates individuals to seek social connections.
It is often associated with an unwanted lack of connection and intimacy. Loneliness overlaps and yet is distinct from solitude. Solitude is simply the state of being apart from others; not everyone who experiences solitude feels lonely.
As a subjective emotion, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people; one who feels lonely, is lonely. The causes of loneliness are varied. They include social, mental, emotional, and environmental factors. Research has shown that loneliness is found throughout society, including among people in marriages along with other strong relationships, and those with successful careers. Most people experience loneliness at some points in their lives, and some feel it very often.
As a short term emotion, loneliness can be beneficial; it encourages the strengthening of relationships. Chronic loneliness on the other hand is widely considered harmful, with numerous reviews and meta-studies concluding it is a significant risk factor for poor mental and physical health outcomes. Loneliness has long been a theme in literature, going back to the Epic of Gilgamesh. Yet academic study of loneliness was sparse until the late twentieth century.
In the 21st century, loneliness has been increasingly recognised as a social problem, with both NGOs and governmental actors seeking to tackle it. Loneliness has long been viewed as a universal condition which, at least to a moderate extent, is felt by everyone. From this perspective, some degree of loneliness is inevitable as the limitations of human life mean it is impossible for anyone to continually satisfy their inherent need for connection.
Professors including Michele A. Carter and Ben Lazare Mijuskovic have written books and essays tracking the existential perspective and the many writers who have talked about it throughout history. While agreeing that loneliness alleviation can be a good thing, those who take the existential view tend to doubt such efforts can ever be fully successful, seeing some level of loneliness as both unavoidable and even beneficial, as it can help people appreciate the joy of living.
Culture is discussed as a cause of loneliness in two senses. Migrants can suffer from loneliness due to missing their home culture. Studies have found this effect can be especially strong for students from countries in Asia with a collective culture, when they come to study at universities in more individualist English speaking countries.
For many people the family of origin did not offer the trust building relationships needed to build a reference that lasts a lifetime and even in memory after the passing of a loved one. This can be due to parenting style, traditions, mental health issues including personality disorders and abusive family environments.
Sometimes religious shunning is also present. This impacts the ability of individuals to know themselves,to value themselves and to relate to others or do to so with great difficulty. All these factors and many others are overlooked by the standard medical or psychologically advice that recommends to go meet friends, family and to socialise. This isn't always possible when there is no one available to relate to and an inability to connect without the skills and knowledge on how to proceed.
With time a person might become discouraged or develop apathy from numerous trials, failures or rejections brought on by the lack of interpersonal skills. As the rate of loneliness increases yearly among people of every age group and more so in the elderly, with known detrimental physical and psychological effects, there is a need to find new ways to connect people with each other and especially so at a time when a whole lot of the human attention is focused on electronic devices, it is a challenge.
Loneliness is a very common, though often temporary, consequence of a relationship breakup or bereavement. The loss of a significant person in one's life will typically initiate a grief response ; in this situation, one might feel lonely, even while in the company of others.
Loneliness can occur due to the disruption to one's social circle , sometimes combined with homesickness , which results from people moving away for work or education. All sorts of situations and events can cause loneliness, especially in combination with certain personality traits for susceptible individuals. For example, an extroverted person who is highly social is more likely to feel lonely if they are living somewhere with a low population density , with fewer people for them to interact with.
Loneliness can sometimes even be caused by events that might normally be expected to alleviate it: for example the birth of a child if there is significant postpartum depression or after getting married especially if the marriage turns out to be unstable, overly disruptive to previous relationships, or emotionally cold.
In addition to being impacted by external events, loneliness can be aggravated by pre-existing mental health conditions like chronic depression and anxiety. Long term loneliness can cause various types of maladaptive social cognition, such as hypervigilance and social awkwardness , which can make it harder for an individual to maintain existing relationships, or establish new ones.
Various studies have found that therapy targeted at addressing this maladaptive cognition is the single most effective way of intervening to reduce loneliness, though it does not always work for everyone. Loneliness can spread through social groups like a disease.
The mechanism for this involves the maladaptive cognition that often results from chronic loneliness. If a man loses a friend for whatever reason, this may increase his loneliness, resulting in him developing maladaptive cognition such as excessive neediness or suspicion of other friends.
Hence leading to a further loss of human connection if he then goes on to split up with his remaining friends. Those other friends now become more lonely too, leading to a ripple effect of loneliness. Studies have however found that this contagion effect is not consistent - a small increase in loneliness does not always cause the maladaptive cognition. Also, when someone loses a friend, they will sometimes form new friendships or deepen other existing relationships.
Studies have tended to find a moderate correlation between extensive internet use and loneliness, especially ones that draw on data from the s, before internet use became widespread. Contradictory results have been found by studies investigating whether the association is simply a result of lonely people being more attracted to the internet, or if the internet can actually cause loneliness.
The displacement hypothesis holds that some people chose to withdraw from real world social interactions so they can have more time for the internet. Excessive internet use can directly cause anxiety and depression, conditions which can contribute to loneliness - yet these factors may be offset by the internet's ability to facilitate interaction, and to empower people.
Some studies found that internet use is a cause of loneliness, at least for some types of people. Excessive use, especially if passive, can increase loneliness.
While moderate use, especially by users who engage with others rather than just passively consume content, can increase social connection and reduce loneliness. So while genes play a role in determining how much loneliness a person may feel, they are less of a factor than individual experiences and the environment.
People making long driving commutes have reported dramatically higher feelings of loneliness as well as other negative health impacts. Two principal types of loneliness are social and emotional loneliness. This delineation was made in by Robert S. Weiss, in his seminal work: Loneliness: The Experience of Emotional and Social Isolation  Based on Weiss's view that "both types of loneliness have to be examined independently, because the satisfaction for the need of emotional loneliness cannot act as a counterbalance for social loneliness, and vice versa", people working to treat or better understand loneliness have tended to treat these two types of loneliness separately, though this is far from always the case.
Social loneliness is the loneliness people experience because of the lack of a wider social network. They may not feel they are members of a community, or that they have friends or allies whom they can rely on in times of distress. Emotional loneliness results from the lack of deep, nurturing relationships with other people. Weiss tied his concept of emotional loneliness to attachment theory. People have a need for deep attachments, which can be fulfilled by close friends, though more often by close family members such as parents, and later in life by romantic partners.
Family loneliness results when individuals feel they lack close ties with family members. A study of 1, students found that only family loneliness was associated with increased frequency of self harm, not romantic or social loneliness. Romantic loneliness can be experienced by adolescents and adults who lack a close bond with a romantic partner. Psychologists have asserted that the formation of a committed romantic relationship is a critical development task for young adults, but is also one that many are delaying into their late 20s or beyond.
People in romantic relationships tend to report less loneliness than single people, providing their relationship provides them with emotional intimacy. People in unstable or emotionally cold romantic partnerships can still feel romantic loneliness.
Several other typologies and types of loneliness exist. Further types of loneliness include existential loneliness, cosmic loneliness - feeling alone in a hostile universe, and cultural loneliness - typically found among immigrants who miss their home culture.
Lockdown loneliness refers to "loneliness resulting because of social disconnection due to enforced social distancing and lockdowns during the COVID pandemic and similar other emergency situations" such as the COVID pandemic. There is a clear distinction between feeling lonely and being socially isolated for example, a loner.
In particular, one way of thinking about loneliness is as a discrepancy between one's necessary and achieved levels of social interaction ,  while solitude is simply the lack of contact with people. Loneliness is therefore a subjective experience; if a person thinks they are lonely, then they are lonely. People can be lonely while in solitude, or in the middle of a crowd. What makes a person lonely is the fact that they need more social interaction or a certain type of social interaction that is not currently available.
A person can be in the middle of a party and feel lonely due to not talking to enough people. Conversely, one can be alone and not feel lonely; even though there is no one around that person is not lonely because there is no desire for social interaction.
There have also been suggestions that each person has their own optimal level of social interaction. If a person gets too little or too much social interaction, this could lead to feelings of loneliness or over-stimulation. Solitude can have positive effects on individuals. One study found that, although time spent alone tended to depress a person's mood and increase feelings of loneliness, it also helped to improve their cognitive state , such as improving concentration.
It can be argued some individuals seek solitude for discovering a more meaningful and vital existence. Another important typology of loneliness focuses on the time perspective. Transient loneliness is temporary in nature; generally it is easily relieved. Chronic loneliness is more permanent and not easily relieved.
Once the person got better it would be easy for them to alleviate their loneliness. A person with long term feelings of loneliness regardless of if they are at a family gathering or with friends is experiencing chronic loneliness. The existentialist school of thought views individuality as the essence of being human.
Each human being comes into the world alone, travels through life as a separate person, and ultimately dies alone. Coping with this, accepting it, and learning how to direct our own lives with some degree of grace and satisfaction is the human condition. Some philosophers , such as Sartre , believe in an epistemic loneliness in which loneliness is a fundamental part of the human condition because of the paradox between people's consciousness desiring meaning in life and the isolation and nothingness of the universe.
In his text, Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence, Darius Bost draws from Heather Love's theorization of loneliness  to delineate the ways in which loneliness structures black gay feeling and literary, cultural productions.
Bost limns, "As a form of negative affect, loneliness shores up the alienation, isolation, and pathologization of black gay men during the s and early s. But loneliness is also a form of bodily desire, a yearning for an attachment to the social and for a future beyond the forces that create someone's alienation and isolation. Thousands of studies and surveys have been undertaken to assess the prevalence of loneliness.
Yet it remains challenging for scientists to make accurate generalisations and comparisons.
The Tethered Self: Technology Reinvents Intimacy and Solitude
Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Loneliness is also described as social pain —a psychological mechanism which motivates individuals to seek social connections. It is often associated with an unwanted lack of connection and intimacy. Loneliness overlaps and yet is distinct from solitude. Solitude is simply the state of being apart from others; not everyone who experiences solitude feels lonely. As a subjective emotion, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people; one who feels lonely, is lonely. The causes of loneliness are varied.
Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick arrives at the Thai restaurant smiling and characteristically well prepared. And here's her blog about how desperately important connection and communication can be in a time of pandemic. But you must order something that you would really like, perhaps duck or prawns; that would make me feel a lot better. Infuzions Thai in Cammeray is our venue because of its proximity to a studio where the Balmain-based Dowrick has been recording the audio book for Intimacy and Solitude. As it happens, recording has been completed, so there is plenty of time to move around the largely empty restaurant in search of the best spot for recording and photography. Stephanie Dowrick Credit: Edwina Pickles. In addition to being a versatile author of almost 20 fiction and non-fiction books, and a psychotherapist, Dowrick is an interfaith minister who was based at Pitt Street Uniting Church from to
Download Intimacy and Solitude free book PDF Author: Stephanie Dowrick Pages: ISBN: Format: Epub, PDF File size: Mb.
Stephanie Dowrick's lessons of intimacy and solitude from the pandemic
Love is the most 'natural' thing in the world. Yet we make and break relationships routinely, often without really understanding why. Bestselling author Stephanie Dowrick reveals how in order to meet that desire for rewarding relationships, we must first start with ourselves.
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Intimacy & Solitude
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That was the interregnum, in fact, the naked moment before the next exfoliation of habits, the time when one wandered doing things randomly. The time without skin, the raw data, the being-in-the-world. Most of the terraria offering passenger transport around the solar system were extremely fast, but even so, trips often took weeks. But the family resemblance was there. He stared at the next photograph, seemed completely lost in his memories.
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