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Film about tackling loneliness with technology

(29 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 02-May-19 11:10:18

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is producing a short film called ‘Tech for Good’ as part of their wider national campaign about Loneliness – to be launched in June this year - and are keen to talk to interested Gransnet users.

They are looking for someone to appear in the film; someone who is successfully tackling their feelings of loneliness, by using Gransnet.

Have you felt lonely as a result of a change in life, such as children leaving home, retirement, a relationship ending, bereavement or move home?

Do you feel you have made friends by chatting online and have you gone on to make meaningful connections and relationships in the real world too, either with one particular person or with a group from Gransnet?

If this sounds like you and you think you might be interested in being in the film, they’d love to talk to you.

In the first instance, please email [email protected] with a paragraph about yourself and a bit of background information including how you’ve used Gransnet to help you connect with others online and offline.

The DCMS will get in touch to arrange telephone calls with the strongest stories.

Thanks smile

M0nica Thu 02-May-19 22:17:53

Real loneliness can only be properly remedied by real people and real human contact.

Gransnet can perhaps help assuage the worst pangs of loneliness in the same way that regular phone calls can

My fear is that governments and other bodies think they can shrug off the real effects of loneliness with technical solutions that enable them to provide cheap inadequate solutions to complex problems/

The best idea would be to build tower blocks of bedsits with one lonely elderly person in each cage flatlet with food put through a hatch, monitored by cctv and with domestic services provided by a robot. with a keyboard and screen to communicate with the outside world. What on earth more could they need?

CocoPops Fri 03-May-19 03:54:15

"Real loneliness can only be properly remedied by real people and real human contact". I totally agree with MOnica.

Oldwoman70 Fri 03-May-19 08:33:27

Posting on Gransnet merely gives the illusion of speaking to people - as MOnica and CocoPops say the only remedy to loneliness is contact with real people.

Anniebach Fri 03-May-19 09:15:22

I am thankful I have GransNet, my only contact with the outside world is two hours every ten dsys is my younger granddaughter who calls for two hours, isolation causes much loneliness.

Charleygirl5 Fri 03-May-19 09:50:37

Cutting down bus services is not going to allow us to get to local shops and we cannot all get on our bikes or walk as the mayor of London thinks.

He also wants to remove buses from Oxford Street, I will no longer be able to travel there because I need to use a bus to get me from one end to the other or even half way,.

I think these ideas will encourage isolation at home.

BradfordLass72 Fri 03-May-19 10:20:47

Nope, Gransnet doesn't cure loneliness. I've seen people come here desperate for help and virtual companionship and whilst the majority of responses are kind - there are always a few people who put the boot in and it's those few who cause the pain. Many lonely people can't cope with extra pain, so they leave.

I'm waiting for Artificial Intelligence to advance enough so I can have a robot companion.

Think of all the wonderful subjects we could discuss? The robot would be much more intelligent than this life form, so I'd learn heaps. What bliss.
Who could be lonely with an AI robot in the room?

And unlike companions in real life it would never be bad tempered, bitchy, critical for the sake of wielding a bit of petty power, or seek to put me down because I don't share its opinions.

I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime although the science is coming on in leaps and bounds, so you never know.
grin

mumofmadboys Fri 03-May-19 13:27:31

Gransnet is a help for people who are lonely and in the main ,posters are kind and well intentioned.

notentirelyallhere Sat 04-May-19 08:08:56

I like your idea about the robot Bradford Lass and I do agree about the unkind people on GN, the ones who always have to be right and then turn nasty, sometimes breathtakingly so.

It's interesting when you get a thread like the current one on bereavement and you see loads of usernames you've never come across before.

Although the idea of a clique is strenuously denied, there is definitely a set of people who post a lot and who talk to each other to the exclusion of others. This increases the sense of loneliness. The other day I saw a poster request that someone say that they'd seen her post because no one ever responded to her.

Kindness has disappeared from English society. Gransnet is a lively and mostly helpful forum but how much it counters loneliness is debatable.

Lily65 Sat 04-May-19 14:58:02

Yes,notentirely. Indeed

Tangerine Sat 04-May-19 21:39:30

Although Gransnet is not a substitute for real human contact, I think it can help some lonely people. Perhaps better than nothing and some people seem to like to take advice from other Gransnetters.

Not everyone will agree but I think joining in the games adds a bit of fun to life. I realise some people detest the games on Gransnet.

BradfordLass72 Sun 05-May-19 08:20:14

notentirelyallhere Yes, it's sad isn't it but I am learning smile there are, mercifully, only a handful of nasty types.

As soon as I see certain names at the top of the posts I know it's going to be sniping, blaming, negative and often downright nasty.

If anyone dares to come back and say this is unkind or unsympathetic, one of their cronies will leap to their defence with justifications.

I know GN is advertised as 'non-judgmental' but the posters certainly aren't.

It's sad really, but as we get older, we do lose personal power and relevance, so maybe GN is their only outlet?

mumofmadboys Yes, in the main they are but even if there are 100 positive, helpful comments, it's the one or two nasty ones which hurt and no lonely or troubled person asking for help or advice deserves to be hurt even further.
This is why the small clique of snipers are so sad. Why would anyone want to make a person's problems worse by being nasty?

If you can't say anything nice/positive, don't post at all. You may have a right to your opinion but you have no right to hurt or humiliate people, especially in public.

notentirelyallhere Sun 05-May-19 08:51:39

BradfordLass you are a breath of fresh air! I'd noticed how sane and straightforward you were in posts of yours. I'd wondered if it was a northern thing and whether 'the nasty people' were all southerners, the south of the UK being in general a place of crowding, competition and don't speak to the neighbours types! I'll probably get it in the neck now and start a regional war of words!!

I always think that life is struggle enough for most without making things worse by being unkind. No one wants to be told what to do, they want someone to listen! And words on the page hurt more than things said. Anyway, I second what you said and I'm glad that there are many kindly folk on GN too.

Beckett Sun 05-May-19 10:12:10

notentirelyallhere I agree with what you say about unkind comments (although living in the south I can't agree with your comments about southerners!!). I too have noticed there are a few GNs who post hurtful and sometimes downright cruel comments and justify it by saying they are being "honest". No-one wants GNs to only talk about knitting, unicorns and fluffy bunnies, but it is possible to offer advice or have a discussion without some of the comments we read here.

Charleygirl5 Sun 05-May-19 13:05:03

I totally agree. There was a post this am and my first response in my head was "dear God do you not have a brain". I was kind and gave practical advice, it would have been so easy to rip her apart. Every other response was also kind.

I live in London but I am not a southerner- I was born and brought up in Scotland.

Anniebach Sun 05-May-19 16:10:48

There are Scots and Welsh posters 😀

absent Mon 06-May-19 06:24:06

After my father died at the relatively early age of 68, my mother pointed out that I was the only person in the world who hugged her and kissed her until her granddaughter was born. Loneliness is not just chit-chat but also physical contact.

Anniebach Mon 06-May-19 08:17:15

True Absent, my grandchildren moved away last year , I so miss their hugs

janeainsworth Tue 07-May-19 00:39:26

Well, I have no idea who this clique of ‘snipers’ consists of.
I agree with mumofmadboys that most people on GN are kind and supportive.

M0nica Tue 07-May-19 16:17:49

GN members are a cross section of society. Some are a bit snippy, some are kindness personified. The only time I see people all busy talking to friends is on political threads, and that is mainly because most people avoid them.

Having a post ignored is part and parcel of life. I do get responses to some of my emails, but there are times when I wonder why I posted because my responses are ignored, but why should I expect a response? With so many people posting on so many threads. and most of us dipping in and out over a day it is not surprising that most posts do not get a direct response.

On the topic of the thread, the solution to loneliness is people meeting people not machines.

If the answer to loneliness is machines why do we not just stack people up in pods in buildings like Amazon warehouses, with various machines whizzing around tending to their needs like plants in a greenhouses, whisking the dead ones away and replacing them with live pod occupiers. piped music and voices to simulate living with people.

What more could anyone want?

LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 07-May-19 16:29:50

Thank you so much everyone who has contributed to this thread. It's been good for us to read. Sometimes the Active threads move so quickly that new posts move off the first page before people have seen it. But it's not great to feel ignored - even virtually. We agree that nothing is a replacement for face to face contact, but if logistics mean meeting with the family won't happen for some time, or sometimes at 2am you just need to vent, GN can be a good temporary substitute.

This is a last call for anyone who wants to take part in the video. Please send us a quick email with a bit about yourself and we'll take it from there.
Thanks very much
GNHQ

janeainsworth Tue 07-May-19 16:32:50

there are times when I wonder why I posted because my responses are ignored, but why should I expect a response?

MOnica just because your post hasn’t elicited any responses doesn’t mean that it’s been ignored.
It’s just as possible, indeed far more likely, that people will have read it and learned something, but just felt they couldn’t add anything to the discussion.

I used to feel bad if I’d apparently ended a thread. Now I feel a smug satisfaction that I’ve had the last word grin

Lily65 Tue 07-May-19 16:58:04

Monica, I always read your posts and mostly go and have a little think about them.

M0nica Tue 07-May-19 19:15:56

Lara I think members of GN should boycott this invitation. To even begin to think of using machines and technology to provide solutions to loneliness means that the people behind this film do not understand the problem.

Technology can indeed help people live at home longer than would previously have been possible and make some tasks easier to do, or make them more personalised, but loneliness itself can only be resolve by human contact and the sooner those in charge realise that and start to find ways to enable lonely elderly and disabled people to meet each other and have that human contact the better.

M0nica Tue 07-May-19 19:20:39

Please do not worry about me I am quite untroubled about having my posts ignored, it was really a response to the person who found having posts totally ignored disqueting.

It is something that happens to all of us. With so many people posting on so many subjects, the majority will go uncommented on, but as you say Lily (and thank you for the compliment -at least I think it was a compliment!) the fact that no one comments on it doesn't mean that it hasn't been read and appreciated.

The other point is that some people are more sensitive than others and posts can be misunderstood and one person's perfectly straight forward comment can be interpreted by another person as a snippy put down.