18. Loneliness and Internet Use

  1. Robert J. Coplan and
  2. Julie C. Bowker
  1. Yair Amichai-Hamburger1 and
  2. Barry H. Schneider2

Published Online: 6 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118427378.ch18

The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone

The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone

How to Cite

Amichai-Hamburger, Y. and Schneider, B. H. (2013) Loneliness and Internet Use, in The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone (eds R. J. Coplan and J. C. Bowker), John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ. doi: 10.1002/9781118427378.ch18

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Research Center for Internet Psychology (CIP), Sammy Ofer School of Communications, The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel

  2. 2

    School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 DEC 2013
  2. Published Print: 23 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118427361

Online ISBN: 9781118427378

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Keywords:

  • Internet;
  • Personality;
  • Extroversion – Introversion;
  • Addiction;
  • Social skills

Summary

In this chapter we explore the implications of Internet use on loneliness among its users. We open the chapter with an assessment of the exceptional features of the Internet and how they create a unique psychological environment that may either maximize or minimize loneliness. The chapter goes on to examine the general impact of the Internet on our social lives. The next section examines several individual differences that may moderate the effects of the Internet on loneliness, including extroversion vs. introversion, physical disability , advancing age, and membership of stigmatized minority groups. The link between addiction and loneliness, including the effect of Internet use on lonely individuals is discussed. From here it moves on to examine how individuals may transfer their online social skills to their offline interactions. The chapter concludes by describing our recommendations for future research directions in this area.