Volume 6

Perceptions of Internet Use in Relation to Social Interaction and Loneliness

Christie Nader and Heather Percy

This study was designed to examine Internet use and its possible effects on social interactions. Participants included 80 adults, ages 18 to 53. Internet use and social involvement were manipulated within four scenarios. Results showed that participants perceived scenario characters described as non-social as being more anxious and lonely than those described as social but did not perceive Internet use as having an impact on their social involvement, levels of loneliness, or social anxiety. Heavy Internet users reported high levels of loneliness and low preferences for solitude. Effects of Internet use on social interactions are discussed.

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