It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Loneliness May Be Contagious

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 04:52 PM
link   
December 01, 2009
Staying socially connected may be just as important for public health as washing your hands and covering your cough. A new study suggests that feelings of loneliness can spread through social networks like the common cold.

“People on the edge of the network spread their loneliness to others and then cut their ties,” says Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School in Boston, a coauthor of the new study in the December Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “It’s like the edge of a sweater: You start pulling at it and it unravels the network.”

This study is the latest in a series that Christakis and James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego have conducted to see how habits and feelings move through social networks. Their earlier studies suggested that obesity, smoking and happiness are contagious.

The new study, led by John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago, found that loneliness is catching as well, possibly because lonely people don’t trust their connections and foster that mistrust in others.


Loneliness appears to be easier to catch from friends than from family, to spread more among women than men, and to be most contagious among neighbors who live within a mile of each other. The study also found that loneliness can spread to three degrees of separation, as in the studies of obesity, smoking and happiness. One lonely friend makes you 40 to 65 percent more likely to be lonely, but a lonely friend-of-a-friend increases your chances of loneliness by 14 to 36 percent. A friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend adds between 6 and 26 percent, the study suggests.


www.wired.com...


Not so sure that I would call it lonely, my problem seems to be connecting with like minded people, ATS helps a great deal but in the physical world it's another story, people I grew up with and so called life long friends hold no interest for me, I can connect much easier with my nine and seven year old grandchildren who interested in the environment, science etc and study these topics in school, the sad part it you shouldn't have to worry about the environment at nine years old.




posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 05:41 PM
link   
Agree wholeheartedly.

Connection in this day and age of lightspeed communication and society is a hard thing to do.

Yes, the connections we make online do help a little.

I actually enjoy the heated arguments and discussions I have here and elsewhere.

Stimulating the mind in diverse topics actually help me more than the connections I make here.

Children help by just their open box minds, you know, out of the box thinking. They have not had their minds closed yet by the indoctrination of the closed box schools and main stream media.

Loneliness can be catching, so can life, just reach out and grab it.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:00 PM
link   
reply to post by endisnighe
 


The good news is my daughter and son in law encourage my grandchildren in every way they can..speaking of thinking out of the box they never cease to amaze me, hard to believe they are children.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:07 PM
link   
Interesting


My problem is connecting with people period, I always think what I have to say does'nt really matter, like it's not important so usually pass, on giving much of it away, if any.

I even feel it in places where I have people with similar interests, sometimes if I try, my mind goes blank.

It feels safer being a little bit lonely somehow, like there's less room to muck up.

Though i'm not completely lonely, I have a best friend of 14 years who has a large friends list so it's not affected him, he likes the large group and I gave it up, nothing much else has changed.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:13 PM
link   
reply to post by valiant
 


valiant I am sure you have much to say, just go for it, everyone has something valuable to say, I have been where you're at and decided one day to just go for it and glad I did.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:23 PM
link   
reply to post by Aquarius1
 


Thanks
I know it's in the head and all, it's just tricky to really convince myself otherwise sometimes, and act on it.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:28 PM
link   
Let's throw a monkey wrench in these spoke shall we?

If you are among people...you cannot be lonely...?

I know I am being a literalist right now and I agree with the OP, but it was just an interesting notion.

A kind of paradox really..

~Keeper



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
Let's throw a monkey wrench in these spoke shall we?

If you are among people...you cannot be lonely...?

I know I am being a literalist right now and I agree with the OP, but it was just an interesting notion.

A kind of paradox really..

~Keeper


Quantity isn’t an issue though as it’s possible to feel lonely in a room full of people. I think loneliness stems from a inability to truly connect with another person or multiple people.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:43 PM
link   
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


This is absolutely true, great point and I think the reason we say we are lonely, is by how we think we are percieved by others with a larger group of friends, as lonely, well i'm saying we, when I really mean me, sorry


Then what hazystars says is also true( you beat me to it
)



[edit on 2-12-2009 by valiant]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:46 PM
link   
But if you're lonely, and you've managed to spread your loneliness... doesn't that mean you're in close contact with at least one other person, and thereby have no reason to be lonely to begin with?

Then you're just a whiner.. or worse, an attention whore, and not lonely at all!

Bunch of fakers


[edit on 12/2/2009 by ZombieOctopus]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:51 PM
link   
I don't think being lonely has anything to do with being in the presence of others, you can be with family or at party and feel isolated, I know that feeling well. The people I connect with now live in some cases thousands of miles away and I don't know them personally but feel like I know them better than people I know.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 06:56 PM
link   
Being alone and being lonely are two very different concepts.

Line Squared


[edit on 2-12-2009 by Hazystars]



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hazystars
Being alone and being lonely are two very different concepts.

Line Squared


[edit on 2-12-2009 by Hazystars]


So simple, but you put it better than I could of
it's easy to think of them as one and the same though, as I just did.



posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 07:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by valiant

Originally posted by Hazystars
Being alone and being lonely are two very different concepts.

Line Squared


[edit on 2-12-2009 by Hazystars]


So simple, but you put it better than I could of
it's easy to think of them as one and the same though, as I just did.


Thank you
This topic has been swimming around in my head for awhile. I was pleasantly surprised to come across this Wired article. It seems like bad habits or undesirable traits seem to carry some type of infectious energy.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 07:22 PM
link   
This is so sad and yet, at the same time, so totally preventable. How awesome would it be if we just took the time to care about people. Really care. Show them how much we care.

There is nothing more valuable than our time. A phone call. A note. A pop in. An invitation. A message on a web page or a forum board.

Human beings are social creatures and yet, in today's fast-paced, technological society - we are more isolated than ever even though we are all connected on-line.

Maybe we are all on-line searching for ways to not feel so lonely. Something to fill a void. Looking to connect.



posted on Dec, 4 2009 @ 08:32 PM
link   
reply to post by Sergeant Stiletto
 


There is no reason not to do the right thing Sergeant Stiletto, just do it and you may be pleasantly surprised what it will do for you and sometimes others as you set an example, when you want to do something for others there is no reason you can't ask a friend or relative to help also.



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join