Understanding Loneliness in Social Awareness Streams: Expressions and Responses

AAAI Conferences

We studied the experience of loneliness as communicated by thousands of people on Twitter. Using a data set of public Twitter posts containing explicit expressions of loneliness, we qualitatively developed a categorization scheme for these expressions, showing how the context of loneliness expressed on Twitter relates to existing theories about loneliness. A quantitative analysis of the data exposed categories and patterns in communication practices around loneliness. For example, users expressing more severe, enduring loneliness are more likely to be female, and less likely to include requests for social interaction in their tweets. Further, we studied the responses to expressions of loneliness in Twitter’s social settings. Deriving from the same dataset, we examined factors that correlate with the existence and type of response, showing, for example, that men were more likely to receive responses to lonely tweets, and expressions of enduring loneliness are critically less likely to receive responses.


Scientists claim the language people use in their Twitter posts can predict loneliness

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The language you use in your tweets can be used to reveal the state of your mental health and work out how lonely you are, a study has reported. Considered a public health crisis, loneliness affects around one-in-five adults and has been linked to cardiovascular disease and depression. US researchers have created a system that can predict loneliness based on hospital patients' tweets and are working to integrate this into an intervention programme. Digital expert Sharath Chandra Guntuku of the the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and colleagues set out to address the crisis by determining what topics and themes in people's tweets could be associated with loneliness. By applying linguistic analytic model to tweets, they found that users who tweeted about loneliness post significantly more often about mental health concerns and things like relationship issues, substance abuse and insomnia.


How older adults can recover from loneliness

PBS NewsHour

It's widely believed that older age is darkened by persistent loneliness. But a considerable body of research confirms this isn't the case. In fact, loneliness is the exception rather than the rule in later life. And when it occurs, it can be alleviated: It's a mutable psychological state. Only 30 percent of older adults feel lonely fairly frequently, according to data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, the most definitive study of seniors' social circumstances and their health in the U.S. "If anything, the intensity of loneliness decreases from young adulthood through middle age and doesn't become intense again until the oldest old age," said Louise Hawkley, an internationally recognized authority on the topic and senior research scientist at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.


Americans aren't getting lonelier - just older, study suggests

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Older people are not necessarily lonelier than previous generations - despite talk of a loneliness'epidemic', suggests new research. Elderly baby boomers are not any lonelier than similar-aged counterparts through the ages - there are simply more of them, according to the findings of two studies published in the journal Psychology and Ageing. Using data from two national surveys in the US, University of Chicago researchers examined participants' level of loneliness, educational attainment and overall health, as well as the number of family members and friends they felt close to. They found that loneliness decreased between the ages of 50 and 74, and increased in people aged 75 and over, but detected no shift in loneliness between baby boomers and their older counterparts. Loneliness has always increased with age, and a new study suggests that Americans todya aren't any lonelier than prior generations - they are just older (file) 'We found no evidence that older adults have become any lonelier than those of a similar age were a decade before,' study lead author Dr Louise Hawkley, from the University of Chicago, said.


'I'm surrounded by people - but I feel so lonely'

BBC News

When the BBC launched the Loneliness Experiment on Valentine's Day 2018 a staggering 55,000 people from around the world completed the survey, making it the largest study of loneliness yet. Claudia Hammond, who instigated the project, looks at the findings and spoke to three people about their experiences of loneliness. If you have a good piece of news or a bad piece of news, it's not having that person to tell about it. Lacking those people in your life can be really hard." Michelle Lloyd is 33 and lives in London. She is friendly and chatty and enjoys her job - she seems to have everything going for her, but she feels lonely. She has lived in a few different cities so her friends are spread around the country and tend to be busy with their children at weekends. She does go for drinks with colleagues after work, but tells me it's the deeper relationships she misses.