Psych Central


TV relieves lonelinessIn a study that should surprise no one, new research suggests that a person can increase their feelings of belongingness — the sense of being in a social situation — by simply watching television. TV can act as a social surrogate for actual human contact, making us feel like we have a social relationship with the TV characters. It may not be real social relationship, but it appears that may not really matter in terms of its relief of feelings of social isolation and rejection.

And if television can be shown to do this, it’s not a huge leap to imagine the value of the Internet in also relieving social isolation. In fact, some research has already been published that shows just that (see previous link).

Is any of this a “good” thing? Well, it depends on how you look at it. If you’re home-bound or an older person who has lost all of their friends and family, you don’t have a lot of choices in where you can grab your social interactions. If you can get something that provides similar relief from feelings of loneliness and rejection from television or the Internet, it may be sufficient (and more than sufficient in some cases) for people faced with such a situation.

The world is changing in front of us (as it changed in front of previous generations). But this time around, technology is changing the very core of many of our social interactions and relationships, moving them from the face-to-face world to the virtual, always-on world.

Read the full article: T.V. Can Ease Loneliness and Rejection.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 22 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Apr 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). TV Relieves Loneliness. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/23/tv-relieves-loneliness/

 

Recent Comments
  • rea: my husband suffers anxiety disorder. he doesn’t work because he’s afraid of so many things....
  • John M. Grohol, Psy.D.: You can choose to deny any medical treatment, even if it will save your life. People choose...
  • Julie: I am not married to a man with ADD BUT I have been in a relationship with a man that does have it.A severe and...
  • Christina B.: People who are turned away from treatment wind up homeless, incarcerated or dead from suicide. Is this...
  • John M. Grohol, Psy.D.: I’m arguing we shouldn’t focus on “serious mental illness,” which is...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12321
Join Us Now!