Category Archives: loneliness

Loneliness a bigger killer than obesity, say researchers

When it comes to aging, I am reminded pretty much daily of the old saw, “Nobody said it was easy.” We need to work on our nutrition and our exercise every day of our lives as we age. But, that is not the complete answer. “Man does not live by bread alone.” It turns out that we need to take a hint from the Millennials around us and engage with others socially, too.

Writing in Medical News Today, Honor Whiteman reported on the importance or our social needs, alsoWoman-alone-staring-out-of-window-554224.

Two new meta-analyses from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, UT, reveal that loneliness and social isolation may increase the risk of premature death by up to 50 percent.

Study co-author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at BYU, and colleagues recently presented their findings at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, held in Washington, D.C.

While loneliness and social isolation are often used interchangeably, there are notable differences between the two. Social isolation is defined as a lack of contact with other individuals, while loneliness is the feeling that one is emotionally disconnected from others. In essence, a person can be in the presence of others and still feel lonely. Continue reading

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Loneliness and Facebook posting: new research

The current study tested the psychological effects of posting status updates on Facebook using an experimental design.

Aspirus Healthy Aging Service Line

Does Posting Facebook Status Updates Increase or Decrease Loneliness? An Online Social Networking Experiment

Online social networking is a pervasive but empirically understudied phenomenon.

Strong public opinions on its consequences exist but are backed up by little empirical evidence and almost no causally conclusive, experimental research.

The current study tested the psychological effects of posting status updates on Facebook using an experimental design.

For 1 week, participants in the experimental condition were asked to post more than they usually do, whereas participants in the control condition received no instructions. Participants added a lab “Research Profile” as a Facebook friend allowing for the objective documentation of protocol compliance, participants’ status updates, and friends’ responses.

Results revealed (1) that the experimentally induced increase in status updating activity reduced loneliness, (2) that the decrease in loneliness was due to participants feeling more connected to their friends on a daily basis, and…

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