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September 11, 2007

Social Isolation and the Internet

In class tonight, the topic of social isolation and the internet was discussed. I mentioned that I had read an article on this subject, however it is not available on the internet. Upon doing some research, I found several other studies that linked social isolation and depression to internet use and increasing technological advances in our society. Here are a few links to explore for those who are interested.
I found the second article (Weiser) particularly interesting in that it distinguishes between the effects of different types of internet use. In Weiser's study, it was found that people primarily use the internet for two reasons. The first was termed Socio-Affective Regulation (SAR), or social use of the internet. The second function of the internet was called Goods-and-Information Acquisition (GIA), which is fairly self explanatory. Weiser's conclusion was that SAR internet use leads to unfavorable psychological consequences and social isolation, whereas GIA has a positive effect on psychological well-being. I believe that this is an interesting take on the manners in which the internet is used and how it can be both a beneficial and potentially harmful technological tool.
http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep98/isolat.html
http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/109493101753376678

Posted by leslieph at September 11, 2007 09:41 PM

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