It’s not just that you’re unable to connect in person, but that you’ve failed to recognise when you’ve struggled to do so.
The disconnect, according to research from the University of Oxford, is the result of social isolation and a lack of understanding of the people around you.
“Social isolation is a major issue for those who have struggled with social isolation,” explained Dr Andrew Sussman, who led the study.
“People who are disconnected from their friends and family, often experience depression and loneliness and lack confidence in their social networks.”
Many people with social anxiety, for example, have problems with connecting with others and this can be exacerbated by isolation and isolation can also cause anxiety.
“The findings from the Oxford University research were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
What are people’s motivations for social isolation?
We know that the human mind is a very complex machine, capable of forming a complex social and behavioural network, said Dr Sussmans research co-author Dr Rebecca Crouch.”
This research shows that social isolation can have a direct impact on our wellbeing.
“What do people think about social isolation in the UK?
Dr Sussons research found that social exclusion and loneliness were the most common reasons why people felt disconnected from other people.
People were particularly likely to feel isolated because they did not have social ties, he said.”
We are all in this together and it can be a very difficult thing to experience as you are not in the same social circle.
“Social isolation can affect people in a variety of ways, including:”Social rejection” – when you are rejected by your friends or family”Loneliness” – a feeling of being unable to find a social relationship with other social groups”Disconnection” – feeling disconnected from your social networks, which can be felt as a loss of identity”Loss of self esteem” – being socially isolated and socially isolated from your friends and peers”A sense of alienation” – the feeling that you have lost control over your life and are not able to control your actions, and may be unable to interact with others socially”How does social isolation affect us?
Social isolation may be more than a feeling, said Sussmen.
“It can affect our daily lives, including the way we interact with other friends, family, and colleagues.”
Being socially isolated is linked to poorer physical health and emotional health.
“And, it can also be linked to a decrease in happiness, health, and wellbeing.”
The research found there were four main ways that social withdrawal caused harm to the health and wellbeing of people.
Social isolation in social networks:• Social isolation can cause physical and mental health problems• Social exclusion can lead to loneliness and feelings of disempowerment• Disconnected people may feel socially isolated, which is not good for themThe research also found that the more socially isolated people were, the worse their physical and psychological health was.
The research involved two teams of researchers, who collected data from more than 1,500 people aged 18 and over in the US and UK.
The researchers found that people in the research sample reported experiencing more isolation and feeling more socially disconnected.
“There was a link between social isolation at home and lower levels of wellbeing,” said Sommans.
“For example, loneliness and social isolation were significantly associated with poor health and lower life satisfaction.”
How to reduce social isolation:The Oxford University team found that in addition to social isolation, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your social isolation.
“Here’s what you can do to make your social life more connected,” said Dr Crouch, “including:• Establish regular social and physical connections.• Join groups to socialise and network with others.• Learn to create a sense of belonging and community in your community.• Support your friends in finding new social and recreational opportunities.
Source: PLOS One (UK), PLOS Medicine (UK).
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