Loneliness in the Digital Age: Building Strategies for Empathy and Trust

Shaun Lawson, John Vines, Michael Wilson, Julie Barnett, Manuela Barreto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Loneliness is a complex emotion that impacts upon an individual’s sense of social-relatedness, health and wellbeing. While a large amount of scholarship has tackled the issue of chronic loneliness, the issue of transient loneliness has thus far not received significant attention in academic research. In this position paper, we discuss the role that technology may play in ameliorating experiences of transient loneliness for individuals most at risk of it, and reflect on how technology can promote empathy for, and between, people who are temporarily separated from their loved ones and home communities. We outline a large-scale research project that involves collaboration across health and social psychology, the creative arts, design and HCI exploring these issues, and speculate upon new applications of social technologies that may enhance empathic relations between disparate groups and individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the CHI2014 workshop on Enabling Empathy in Health and Care
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014
EventSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Canada
Duration: 26 Apr 20141 May 2014


ConferenceSIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI '14
Internet address


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