This conversation is closed.

has the spread of personal computers over the past 25, 30 years increased or decreased the 'amount of loneliness' in the world?

So, this is, of course, an extremely scientific and precise question. Computers: increasing loneliness by giving people more ways to isolate and cut themselves off from others, decreasing loneliness by giving people many more ways to connect with others people, both in 'real life' and technologically-mediated ways, or, they're just a tool and don't casually effect us either way?

  • Dec 31 2011: I'd say that they are a tool and can be used to isolate as well as de-isolate. The usage depends on the person.
  • thumb
    Jan 2 2012: A computer is a tool. Computers are TOMS (Totally Obediant Morons) they perform as directed. The old saying is that you can be lonely in a crowd. Computers are just the latest in a line line of communication devices. Correspondence, telegraph, radio, phones, etc did not resolve loneliness nor will computers. The best line from Crocadile Dundee was, "we can all use a mate". In this case meaning a best friend. That would be a better cure for loneliness.
  • W T

    • 0
    Dec 31 2011: Let me just add, that we (our family) are very social....and I find that computers have allowed me to be more so....I have seldom felt lonely in my life.....and now, should I find myself feeling lonely or feeling the need to interact with someone, I come on-line and see what's going on in TED conversations.:)
  • W T

    • 0
    Dec 31 2011: I agree with's a quote: "Technology can bring us closer to those far away, and at the same time it distances us from those near"

    I think many who are home and cannot get out, are able to keep up a social life via the internet. However, many isolate themselves and allow computers/technology to take over their social life.

    Face to face contact is very, very important.....I think computers, and cell phones have robbed many of wonderful face to face conversations. I see alot of young people with very poor communication skills due to excessive use of technology. This is sad.

    It would be nice if someone did a study on this topic don't you think??