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Loneliness in the modern age. Loneliness is inevitable; it is crafted out of the modern world and thus is inseparable from it. It is so pervasive that to be human is to be lonely (as cited in Rokach, 2004).

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Introduction

Loneliness in the modern age by Julie Lee Submitted to Mrs. Martin The Woodlands School HSP 3MO-A January 18, 2011 Loneliness is inevitable; it is crafted out of the modern world and thus is inseparable from it. It is so pervasive that "to be human is to be lonely" (as cited in Rokach, 2004). Humankind is "continually struggling to escape the solipsistic prison of ... painful alienation, ... the agonizing pain of loneliness, and its gnawing, saddening, and terrifying effects" (as cited in Rokach). This everlasting battle drives people's lives - the fear "motivates people to attend to and connect with others but ... in a self-protective and paradoxically self-defeating fashion" (Cacioppo, Hughes, Waite, Hawkley, & Thisted, 2006). Social isolation is a more tangible seclusion as opposed to the subjective experience of feeling lonely - which is the longing to fit in and the resultant experience when one cannot. However, both experiences are particularly prevalent in North American culture. Individuals of the contemporary Western society are subject to comparatively high levels of loneliness and social isolation - a result of increasing reliance on technology, selfish ideals, and the pressure culture places to develop relationships. This culminates in poor psychological health and quality of life, creating a cycle of further alienation. Western culture is to blame for the increasing levels of social isolation among the population. ...read more.

Middle

In Western countries, "individuals view romantic relationships as possibly the most important and central source of love and intimacy (and thus as very needed and desired)" (Seepersad, Mi-Kyung & Nana). As a result, "it appears, for instance, that a good number of marriages start as a panacea to loneliness" (Rokach). However, expectations to have suffering eliminated by these artificial relationships are often not met - hence the high divorce rate. These unfulfilled expectations resulting in a lack of real, meaningful relationships constitutes an inability to connect with others. This notion in turn is "consistently associated with issues of self-esteem [and] perceptions of social competence." (Hall-Lande, Eisenberg, Christenson & Neumark-Sztainer, 2007). Western culture's paradoxical expectations of close relationships in a lonely world only causes more suffering and further loneliness. Lack of social interaction has negative implications on health - both psychological and physiological - "when it settles in long enough to create a persistent, self-reinforcing loop of negative thoughts, sensations, and behaviors" (Cacioppo & Patrick, p. 7). In fact, the experience triggers the same emotion region of the brain that responds to physical pain. People suffering from loneliness were found to have increased levels of depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Aside from poor health, the experience is also linked to poor lifestyle. The lonely "subscribe to negativistic, and pessimistic views" (Rokach & Neto), "feel unsafe, ... ...read more.

Conclusion

Norton Deniz, L. (2010). Excessive Internet Use and Loneliness Among Secondary School Students. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 37(1), 20-23. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Hall-Lande, J A, Eisenberg, M E, Christenson, S L, & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (Summer 2007). Social isolation, psychological health, and protective factors in adolescence. Adolescence. , 42, 166. p.265(22). Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Psychology Collection via Gale. Hay, D. F., Payne, A., & Chadwick, A. (2004). Peer relations in childhood. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 45(1), 84-108. doi:10.1046/j.0021-9630.2003.00308.x Junghyun, K., LaRose, R., & Wei, P. (2009). Loneliness as the Cause and the Effect of Problematic Internet Use: The Relationship between Internet Use and Psychological Well-Being. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(4), 451-455. doi:10.1089/cpb.2008.0327 Rokach, A., & Neto, F. (2005). AGE, CULTURE, AND THE ANTECEDENTS OF LONELINESS. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 33(5), 477-494. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Rokach, A. (2004). Loneliness Then and Now: Reflections on Social and Emotional Alienation in Everyday Life. Current Psychology, 23(1), 24-40. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Seepersad, S., Mi-Kyung, C., & Nana, S. (2008). How Does Culture Influence the Degree of Romantic Loneliness and Closeness?. Journal of Psychology, 142(2), 209-220. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Stoeckli, G. (2009). The Role of Individual and Social Factors in Classroom Loneliness. Journal of Educational Research, 103(1), 28-39. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Witvliet, M., van Lier, P. C., Cuijpers, P., & Koot, H. M. (2010). Change and Stability in Childhood Clique Membership, Isolation From Cliques, and Associated Child Characteristics. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 39(1), 12-24. doi:10.1080/15374410903401161 Julie Lee 3 Julie Lee 3 ...read more.

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