The research findings from the TogetherWith project are backed up by the data gathered from existing academic literature. A survey was conducted which sought to discover the potential for the project. The target audience for the project is young people between the ages of 18 and 24 years old, therefore the participants of the survey are moreover from within the same age bracket.
Figure 1: How Often Do Young People Feel Lonely
Figure 2: Do Young People Wish To Connect With Others When They Feel Lonely
The findings suggest that all young people have felt lonely at some point in their lives. 88% of the participants in the survey also stated that they wish to connect with other people when they feel lonely. This indicates that there is a desire to link up with others and this being with other people brings a sense of positivity. It coincides with the findings of several researchers who state that humans want to belong and feel connected to others (Achterbergh et al. 2020; Inagaki et al. 2015; Pavey et al. 2011). It also backs up Vailliant’s (2008) theory that having social connections instils positive emotions in people.
Figure 3: Do Creative Activities Help Relieve Feelings of Loneliness
The results of the survey additionally suggest that creative activities can help alleviate feelings of loneliness. An overwhelming majority of the survey participants state that they believe creative activities can help with wellbeing. Activities such as drawing, cooking and writing were the most popular creative activities, according to the research. This, once again, equates to existing academic literature (Goncalo et al. 2020) which mentions that creative activities can connect people, reduce feelings of loneliness and subsequently improves overall wellbeing.
Figure 4: Did You Enjoy Participating In The Activity
A second survey was sent out to young people who had participated in the activities. Every respondent state that they enjoyed participating in the activity that they chose to engage in. Users found the poetry generator to be “intriguing“, “interesting“ and that it is “fun to try and think of something“ (Survey 2021). The tile collage is likewise described as being “fun“. People who participated in this activity state that it is nice to see the different styles come together to form one image.
The findings back up the aforementioned studies and also corresponds with Baumer’s (2013) investigation of social media and its potential benefits on society. According to him, social media acts as an effective way to connect people and create positive feelings. The project shows that even if people are not in a physical environment, they can work together to participate in creative collaborative activities.
These activities have been shown to have a positive impact on the participants who state that they felt good after taking part and that the activities are thought-provoking and entertaining. The sense of unity which appears to be particularly felt after participating in the collage project makes users feel like they are a part of something and makes them feel less alone.
In conclusion, it is seen that creative collaborative activities can alleviate feelings of loneliness and improve young people’s overall wellbeing. This conclusion can be drawn based on the findings from this project which backs up existing academic literature. The findings suggest that young people feel lonely at some point in their lives and that people wish to connect with other people when they are feeling lonely. There is a desire to link up with others and this being with other people brings a sense of positivity.
After participating in the project’s creative collaborative activities, people report feeling better and happier. Every respondent stated that they enjoyed participating in the activity that they chose to engage in. The activities are described as being “interesting“ and “fun“ (Survey 2021). The project shows that even if people who are not in a physical environment, can work together to participate in creative collaborative activities.
The activities hosted by TogetherWith have been shown to have a positive impact on the participants who state that they felt good after taking part. Participants also state that the activities are thought-provoking and entertaining. The sense of unity makes users feel like they are a part of something and makes them feel less alone. Therefore, evidence conveys that creative collaborative activities can have a positive impact on the well-being of young people and can alleviate feelings of loneliness, even if the individuals of the group are not in a physical setting together.
Future studies may use different activities to broaden an understanding a see if certain creative activities are more or less effective than others in decreasing feelings of loneliness and improving the well-being of young people. Studies may also opt to target a different age range to gauge if the activities TogetherWith implemented are appropriate to everyone.