Cyberspace Isolates People More Than It Connects Them
Social isolation is one of the key areas of sociological and psychological research with respect to the usage of internet or the cyberspace. It is hypothesized that internet usage over time has created social isolation where people have reduced their interaction and social activity outside of their home and their workplace. This paper aims to analyze this hypothesis in the light of research and concludes whether this hypothesis stands true.
Does Internet Usage Create Social Isolation?
A study has been conducted by Stanford Institution for the Quantitative Study of Society to evaluate whether cyberspace has led to isolation amongst people and a sample of the US population was taken for this research. A comparison of samples of frequent versus non frequent internet users reveals significant results of social isolation. Results indicate that about thirty percent of the population in the US is socially isolated or fast moving towards isolation as it is spending less time with family (70% less), resting (25% less) or watching TV (30% less) (Dixon, 2005).
SIQSS has been conducting cross sectional and time based research on social isolation created by the internet and the results reveal astounding statistics. Without realizing, people spend more than three hours on average, using the internet. Most of this time is spend to communicate with people, friends, family and otherwise; remaining time is broken down between shopping (4%), randomly browsing through websites (6%) and then playing games (8%) (Dixon, 2005).
SIQSS has conducted elaborate research on the change patterns that have formulated over time with respect to internet usage and results reveal that more and more people are interacting less with people who they have met in a social setting, while they spend more time socializing over the internet without gaining any tangible benefits like better interpersonal relationships (Dixon, 2005). Quality of communication is fast being replaced with the quantity of communication with people. This is an alarming change in communication and lifestyle which could create further social isolation amongst people and lead to further psychological or sociological issues such as increasing depression and anxiety.
This social change is alarming to the extent that this social isolation is going to increase over time as technology continues to evolve. The positive outcomes of technology are fast being overcome by these negative impacts that are leading to problems such as depression and anxiety. This is a societal change that can be extremely detrimental to the future of our communities and people and must be evaluated and a solution must be sought.