We’re increasingly told that the internet is making us feel lonelier. And it’s not exactly a myth: a 2010 study suggests that more time on the internet is associated with increased loneliness and reduced life satisfaction, while recent research linked depression in girls to higher use of social media.
It’s undeniable that the internet needs to come with a note of caution. If you’re feeling down and lonely, scrolling through an Instagram feed of perfectly coiffed hair, shiny new outfits and exotic holidays can be a free ticket to feeling worse. But as journalist and author Katherine Ormerod outlines in her book, Why Social Media Is Ruining Your Life, the internet is not the enemy; it’s about harnessing a healthy way to consume it.
For some, the internet can be a very useful tool to battle loneliness. Of course, online connections can never replace the valuable face-to-face interactions we as humans need but it can be a great resource for finding and making new relationships and friends. Read on for three women’s personal experiences of how the internet helped them during a time of loneliness.