Sean Redmond
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Lonely words
Writing loneliness in the post- digital age
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In one sense we have never been more connected: numerous digital interfaces enable us to connect in real time over vast spaces (Baruah, 2012). Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram have become engines for connection and belonging, allowing people to share personal videos, photographs, memes, and forms of creative bricolage. Of course, empirical research suggests that social media increases one’s loneliness and feelings of anxiety and depression, particularly for young people (Woods and Scott, 2016). Bedroom Instagrammers, influencers, and Facebookers find that it often becomes their shrine to loneliness. In this chapter I explore this oxymoron – social loneliness – looking at the way these communal digital interfaces operate. The chapter will both narrate the empirical evidence on the relationship between social media and will textually analyse a range of sites where loneliness has been curated. It will draw upon the writings that participants submitted, revealing in their confessions the way loneliness gripped and released them.

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The loneliness room

A creative ethnography of loneliness


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