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Opinion: We Can Use Technology To Fight Loneliness

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Opinion: We can use technology to fight loneliness

Much has been made of negative effects of the internet and social media use, but that's not the whole story.

Digital technology helps connect people and communities; social media can help combat the loneliness many seniors experience as children grow up and families move away. COMSTOCK IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES/COMSTOCK IMAGES

Loneliness is a growing issue in Canada, with one in five Canadians report feeling lonely or socially isolated. Some scholars have even gone as far as to state that we are currently grappling with an “epidemic of loneliness.” One of the most common causes of loneliness is social isolation, which occurs when an individual has a limited social network and minimal social contact. Sadly, our society is becoming increasingly socially isolated, something to reflect upon as we mark Mental Health Week this week.

Much research suggests that social media and internet use can lead to high levels of depression, anxiety and loneliness, especially in teens and young adults. Other technology may also contribute to loneliness among vulnerable individuals. For instance, the rise of ATMs and self-checkout means that many elderly adults, who tend to be socially isolated, lose valuable opportunities for day-to-day interaction.

Despite these negative effects of technology on mental health and well being, there are some ways that technology could actually help to reduce loneliness. In fact, a recent report released by Vodafone in the United Kingdom suggests that digital technologies can be harnessed to help fight off loneliness in the population.

Click below to read the full article:

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MONTREALGAZETTE.COM

Much has been made of negative effects of internet and social media use, but that's not the whole story.

 

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