The Innovation of Loneliness

A great short-video

Despite the infinite amount of ways to connect with others on a global scale, there seems to be something missing. Shimi Cohen, in his short video aptly titled “The Innovation of Loneliness” contends that loneliness is prevalent despite more and more people connected in a globalised network.

The video compares online social networking to “collecting friends like stamps … converting the deep meaning and intimacy of friendship with exchanging photos and chat conversations”. Houghton et al.(2013) confirms that the more photos you share — the more likely it is to decrease the intimacy of your connections.

I was born in 1991 and I had a considerable amount of years of fun before computers and the internet became mainstream. I think the consensus of people born before social networks, smartphones etc — would agree that these innovations – despite being designed to bring us closer together – actually end up getting in the way of intimacy and authentic connection.

I feel annoyed everytime a friend pulls up her phone to “instagram some food” or the look on their face when they feel compelled to reply to a WhatsApp conversation. Hello! Put your phone down

*End of complaint*

We are able to post and view virtually all of our moments, thoughts, and feelings in real time and high-resolution. And while this affords us many different ways of capturing moments, staying in touch, and meeting new people, the more we focus on social(read — global) networks like Facebook, the further we get from the actual people they are supposed to connect us to.


Houghton, D., Joinson, A., Caldwell, N., & Marder, B. (2013). Tagger’s delight? Disclosure and liking in Facebook: the effects of sharing photographs amongst multiple known social circles.

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