Lockdown may have lasting effects on friendships

  • Jenny Groarke

Press/Media: Expert Comment



Period26 Aug 2020 → 27 Aug 2020

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleFriendships could deteriorate in as little as three months, scientists say
    Media name/outletThe Independent
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    PersonsJenny Groarke
  • TitleLockdown may have lasting effects on friendships
    Media name/outletBBC news
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionDr Jenny Groarke from Queen's University, Belfast, has been studying loneliness during the pandemic.

    "People are using digital modes of communication to meet their social needs, but they're less satisfied with the quality of this form relative to face-to-face contact," she says.

    "[This] lower satisfaction with the quality of digital social contact, we found, was associated with higher loneliness."

    This concurs with the findings of Prof Dunbar's research into social behaviour. There's no substitute, he says, for close, face-to-face encounters.

    Part of that is the human need for touch.

    "People [in our surveys] also spoke about missing physical touch, and finding it 'bizarre' and 'not normal' to go so long without touching people," says Dr Groarke.
    PersonsJenny Groarke