Experiencing Loneliness (Joel Krueger, Lucy Osler, Tom Roberts)

For many of us, our experience of the COVID-19 crisis has been largely defined by experiences of absence — including the absence of everyday routines and possibilities for social interaction that we normally take for granted. In this work, we explore loneliness as an emotion that essentially concerns absence, or the feeling that certain social goods (e.g., companionship; moral support; feelings of togetherness; physical contact and affection; sympathy; trust, etc.) are missing or somehow out of reach. We also explore the increasingly central role that Internet-enabled technologies and online spaces play in shaping this experience, including the way they may offer possibilities for accessing some of these goods. By highlighting the range and depth of social goods that may be experienced as absent in this complex emotion of loneliness, we will gain a richer understanding of loneliness and the suffering that it can involve. We will also gain clarity about some of the ways that the Internet and online spaces may help alleviate loneliness, as well as some of the limitations and hidden dangers these online resources present.


Joel Krueger

Tom Roberts

Lucy Osler

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