Navigating Loneliness: A Comprehensive Study on Communion, Agency, and AI Impact.

Recent research, performed as part of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging, has uncovered the diverse nature of loneliness. It suggests that loneliness is not merely a result of lacking companionship. But it is influenced by the complex interplay of two essential human needs: communion and agency. This study involved 8,500 individuals aged 49 to 80 and explored different sides of their lives, including financial situation, health conditions, relationships, and work status.

People were surveyed about their feelings of loneliness, the quality of their relationships (communion), and their perceived control and choice in life (agency). Led by Oscar Ybarra, a psychology professor from the University of Michigan, and Todd Chan, a researcher at Google, the analysis sought to understand loneliness through the lenses of communion and agency.

They suggested a four-prototype model to classify individuals depending on high and low levels of communion and agency. The results showed that individuals having low levels of communion and agency (referred to as the neglected) felt the highest levels of loneliness, while those high in both dimensions (the empowered) reported the lowest loneliness. Ybarra highlights that loneliness is not solely about relational needs but also connects to personal control and choice. He suggested that support for lonely individuals should encompass warmth and recognition of their need for control and choice, without pressuring them to be entirely self-sufficient.

And how AI Technology and Loneliness relate?

In a related study by the Social Discovery Group, it was found that 67% of users turned to dating platforms and artificial intelligence (AI) to form both platonic and romantic relationships to combat loneliness in the past year. The time spent on these apps has seen a 35% increase since 2022, indicating the growing reliance on AI to rise social experiences for individuals struggling with loneliness.

The Social Discovery Group is a worldwide technology firm dedicated to linking individuals through social discovery. It is investing in innovative platforms like Eva AI, which offer instant relief from loneliness even during periods of isolation. Dmitry Volkov, the CEO of Social Discovery Group, commented: “AI technology can serve as a remedy for loneliness by offering companionship, support, and enhancing people’s overall well-being.” The company addresses loneliness by focusing on AI, Blockchain, AR, VR, and believes that the future of intimacy is digital.

Muhammad Qasim

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