Daughter Karen, our resident expert in social media, has encouraged me to continue to explore the use of new technologies in the classroom. Given the time constraints I have, keeping up with this is usually a hit or miss thing. But once in awhile, I hit on something that is really fun and catches the attention of students.

As readers of my blog know, I use Cacioppo and Patrick’s Loneliness:  Human nature and the need for social connection as enrichment reading for my Intro Psych class. We do many different activities related to this reading. One that I particularly like asks students to go to Twitter Search and search for “loneliness.” Then they list and react to the top 5 things that Twitter Search returns.  Okay, let’s see what’s up right now….

  1. “Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.”
  2. do i kill my old lady neighbour?? she’s screaming all day against pigeons…loneliness
  3. hahaha.. nah. Nonthing more fun than a room of people that u know 😀 Loneliness now and then can be fun. 😀
  4. i’m an aries. I want to find love and i don’t want loneliness
  5. Someone….anyone…please say hullo to me! I am withering in twitter loneliness.
Cacioppo and Patricks Loneliness

Cacioppo and Patrick's Loneliness

Although it’s commonly believed that people who use the internet a lot are “compensating” for their lack of real world connectivity, our research is pointing in another direction. People are online pretty much exactly the way they are in real life. Lonely in one place, lonely in another. We’ll be presenting some of our data at APS in May–stay tuned!