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Causes of Loneliness: The Young Perspective of Young Adults in London's Most Deprived AreasAbstract:
Young adults are currently the loneliest demographic in the UK and other Western countries, yet little is known about how they see the causes of their loneliness. Thus, the objective of this study is to explore the subjective causes of loneliness among young adults (18-24 years old), particularly those of lower socio-economic status (SES) who are in employment, renting and living in the most deprived areas, since they are the loneliest in the UK. Utilising a free association technique and thematic analysis, and embedded in a phenomenological framework, the subjective causes of loneliness in a matched sample of 48 young adults in the four most deprived boroughs of London are found to cluster around five themes: The Feeling of Being Disconnected, Contemporary Culture, Pressure, Social Comparison and Transitions Between Life Stages. Disconnection arises from feeling one does not matter, is not understood or is unable to express oneself. Challenges pertaining to social media and materialism in contemporary culture contribute to loneliness as does pressure associated with work, fitting in and social comparison. Social media play a major role in exacerbating these experiences. Finally, transitions between life stages such as breakups, loss of significant others and transitory stages to do with education and employment are felt to cause loneliness. The findings suggest potential avenues for loneliness reduction.
Cell Phones Should Not Be Allowed on School GroundsDaniel Buck is a teacher and a senior visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank headquartered in Washington, DC. In the following viewpoint, Buck argues that there are significant social and academic consequences to allowing cell phones in schools. The author asserts that learning requires focused, habituated attention, particularly for difficult or complex subjects. Buck contends that the human memory can only process a few things at one time, making cell phones dangerously distracting devices for students. Cell phones, the author maintains, also distract students from social interactions, preventing the formation of relationships with peers. Buck acknowledges that school officials are increasingly restricting the use of cell phones in classrooms but suggests that the devices need to be eliminated entirely from campuses.
Is Social Media Messing With Your Mind?The pressure to succeed in life or be as successful as your peers, is increased by the influence of Social Media. This article analyzes the development of identity and personality
Pros and Cons: Impacts of Social Media on Mental HealthThe use of social media significantly impacts mental health. It can enhance connection, increase self-esteem, and improve a sense of belonging. But it can also lead to tremendous stress, pressure to compare oneself to others, and increased sadness and isolation. Mindful use is essential to social media consumption.
Social Media Can Fight Mental IllnessThe increasing public sentiment and media reports that logging off social media will solve mental health problems are not only completely unfounded but could actually be damaging.
Belonging and Loneliness in Cyberspace: Impacts of Social Media on Adolescents Well-BeinigThe rapidly shifting landscape of social media technology presents challenges to researchers and clinicians attempting to understand the impact of such technology on individuals’ psychosocial development. In this paper, we provide a historical perspective on research exploring the relationship between social media use and loneliness and belonging among adolescents and young adults.
The Chaos Machine by Max FisherFinalist for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism From a New York Times investigative reporter, this "authoritative and devastating account of the impacts of social media" (New York Times Book Review) tracks the high-stakes inside story of how Big Tech's breakneck race to drive engagement--and profits--at all costs fractured the world. The Chaos Machine is "an essential book for our times" (Ezra Klein). We all have a vague sense that social media is bad for our minds, for our children, and for our democracies. But the truth is that its reach and impact run far deeper than we have understood. Building on years of international reporting, Max Fisher tells the gripping and galling inside story of how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social network preyed on psychological frailties to create the algorithms that drive everyday users to extreme opinions and, increasingly, extreme actions. As Fisher demonstrates, the companies' founding tenets, combined with a blinkered focus on maximizing engagement, have led to a destabilized world for everyone. Traversing the planet, Fisher tracks the ubiquity of hate speech and its spillover into violence, ills that first festered in far-off locales, to their dark culmination in America during the pandemic, the 2020 election, and the Capitol Insurrection. Through it all, the social-media giants refused to intervene in any meaningful way, claiming to champion free speech when in fact what they most prized were limitless profits. The result, as Fisher shows, is a cultural shift toward a world in which people are polarized not by beliefs based on facts, but by misinformation, outrage, and fear. His narrative is about more than the villains, however. Fisher also weaves together the stories of the heroic outsiders and Silicon Valley defectors who raised the alarm and revealed what was happening behind the closed doors of Big Tech. Both panoramic and intimate, The Chaos Machine is the definitive account of the meteoric rise and troubled legacy of the tech titans, as well as a rousing and hopeful call to arrest the havoc wreaked on our minds and our world before it's too late.
The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone; Josh Neufeld"Mind-opening, thought-provoking and incredibly timely... An absolutely spectacular read."--Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing A million listeners trust NPR's Brooke Gladstone to guide them through the complexities of the modern media. Bursting onto the page in vivid comics by acclaimed artist Josh Neufeld, this brilliant radio personality guides us through two millennia of media history, debunking the notion that "The Media" is an external force beyond our control and equipping us to be savvy consumers and shapers of the news.
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "tools of the mind"--from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer--Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic--a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption--and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes--Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive--even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.