Lonely Young People and Technology
Pp. 64-80 (17)
Loneliness is a subjective, distressing feeling of being disconnected from a
desired group or intimate relationship. Most children and adolescents experience
loneliness at some time but for 10-20% of young people it can be severe and chronic.
While there are many avenues for help for distressed young people, such as friends and
family as well as the professional help of counselors and psychologists, lonely young
people often do not seek help. Technological resources such as self-help information
websites, social networking sites and web-based help-lines are some ways which lonely
young people try to ameliorate their loneliness. These methods are cost effective,
accessible, constantly updated and often provide anonymity. It is unknown how
effective information sites are for loneliness but it is known that social networking sites
such as Facebook do not always reduce feelings of loneliness. In addition, from the
records of web-based help-lines it would seem that lonely young people do not often
utilize these services. The reasons for loneliness in young people still not being
addressed by technology are discussed.
Adolescents, Children, Help lines, Loneliness, Technology.
School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Australia.