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Annotated Bibliography for Technology and Social

Travis Powell

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Devry University

Annotated Bibliography for Technology and Social


Does technology reduce, or increase instances of
social isolation? To answer this question we have to understand the true
definition of social isolation. The medical dictionary states that “social
isolation is the virtual absence of interaction with others, outside of that
required to perform basic life functions”. 
While advancements in technology and social media might have lessened
our physical interaction with people, it has in no way reduced our overall
interactions with other people. Technology has provided new ways to interact,
connect and communicate for people of all ages and creeds across the world.     


L. (2013, October 1). Forging meaningful connections in a virtual world.

Planning and Adult Development Journal, 29(3), 74-79.

This article had a few main points ranging from explaining what social
capital is, the medical aspects of social isolation, and using technology and
social networking to improve social standing and professional connections. The
main point of the article is using social media to create more meaningful
relationships or higher “social capital”, in order to decrease isolation among
online students. The author is the director of career services at an online
university. She has worked over the last few years to create ways for students
that don’t get face to face interaction ways to improve their social and
professional standing through various social media outlets.

This article highlights some of the medical aspects of social isolation,
as well as one of the demographics that is at risk. While I don’t plan on using
the parts of the article that pertain to the author’s work in career services,
I do plan on using the parts that explain improving your social capital.  The article is about forging meaningful
relationships online, and I feel that will coincide with my argument. Some of
the medical information in the article is relevant to my point, however, I have
another article that covers more in depth the medical aspects of social


Hampton, K., Goulet, L. S., Her, E. J., & Rainee, L. (2009,
November 4). Social isolation and new technology. Retrieved September 27, 2015,

This article is the most in depth scientific study done on the subject
of technology and social isolation. It completely breaks down online and
technology users into multitudes of demographics then analyzes the results of
how technology affects the size and quality of social circles. The PEW research
center is a non-partisan think tank that does studies and informs the public on
numerous social issues and can provide actual scientific data on this topic.    

This is my most important source for my argument. It provides scientific
data that supports my argument and counteracts the opposing view that peoples
social circles have severely diminished in the last 30 years.


Szalavitz, M.
(2013, March 26). Social isolation, not just loneliness may shorten lives.
Retrieved September 27, 2015, from

This article focuses on the difference of loneliness and actual social
isolation. Lack of physical contact can cause feelings of loneliness, however,
true social isolation can be a mental condition that leads to serious health
concerns. The study consisted of a control group of 6,500 people all meeting
certain criteria to test the health effects of social isolation versus social

While much of the study focuses on physical relationships, I plan to use
the medical findings to fortify my argument on online social interactions.
While I agree that physical relationships are extremely important, I do feel
that the psychological value of online social activity can be almost as
important. This article will provide data that backs up my points on senior citizens
and the positive effect social media has had on their quality and length of


Togher, A.
(2014, May 31). Reducing social isolation in seniors. Retrieved September 27,
2015, from

This article focuses on the growing problem of social isolation in
seniors. The article covers many topics involving social isolation among
seniors, the technology section is where I plan to utilize this information. The
ability to reconnect with loved ones, and friends from the past have given many
socially isolated seniors a vastly improved quality of life.

This particular article is a gateway to a vast amount of information
pertaining to social media improving the quality of life, and the length of
life for many seniors. I plan to use this, and studies done from multiple
senior and veteran homes nationwide to bolster my argument on the benefits of
social media among seniors. One of the major health concerns among seniors is
depression due to social isolation, and these studies prove that technology has
provided social pathways to help reduce this issue.

Zhou, L.
(2015, June 25). There is now a 12 week online program to tackle social anxiety.
Retrieved September 27, 2015, from

This article focuses on the issue of social anxiety and how technology,
specifically online courses, are being used to help combat people that suffer
from this condition. Social anxiety has been a condition that has plagued
people since long before our current technological advancements. Sometimes
people just cannot express themselves in face to face interactions. This
article shows that not only is technology being used to combat this, but also
giving people ways to communicate that they wouldn’t have had 20-30 years ago.

This article helps me establish the point that technology is not forcing
us into isolation, it is providing opportunities for people to communicate that
didn’t have them before. Once again, true social isolation is virtual absence
of contact with other people outside of normal life functions. People suffering
from social anxiety often fall into this category. The company featured in this
article are using technology in two different ways to help people suffering
from this. They are using technology to provide a social atmosphere in an
online classroom setting, and also helping people with social anxiety learn to
use these mediums to overcome their conditions.