Project

Conversational Health: Loneliness on Reddit

Lauren Fratamico

Loneliness is becoming a global epidemic. As many as 33 percent of Americans report being chronically lonely, with similar percentages being reported in countries around the world. Additionally, this percentage has risen in recent years. Many are turning to online forums as a way to connect with others about their feelings of loneliness and to begin to reduce these feelings. However, oftentimes, posts go unresponded to and online conversations do not take place, perhaps because those conversing did not find a connection with each other, potentially leaving the poster feeling even more lonely. This research explores the how health of conversation should be defined in online support conversations and analyzes the characteristics of conversation that contribute to healthier conversation. 

Loneliness is becoming a global epidemic. As many as 33 percent of Americans report being chronically lonely, with similar percentages being reported in countries around the world. Additionally, this percentage has risen in recent years. Many are turning to online forums as a way to connect with others about their feelings of loneliness and to begin to reduce these feelings. However, oftentimes, posts go unresponded to and online conversations do not take place, perhaps because those conversing did not find a connection with each other, potentially leaving the poster feeling even more lonely. This research explores the how health of conversation should be defined in online support conversations and analyzes the characteristics of conversation that contribute to healthier conversation.