People-nearby applications and local communities: Questioning about individuals' loneliness and social motivations toward people-nearby applications

Fortuna Procentese*, Flora Gatti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The present study aims to deepen the relationship between people's loneliness and relational motivations toward people-nearby applications (PNAs) use, within the uses and gratification framework. Indeed, due to the spread of indifference and mistrust toward other citizens, local communities and the relationships within them can leave some individuals' social needs unsatisfied. An online questionnaire, including the Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults-short version and the Cyber Relationships Motives Scale, was administered to 647 PNAs users (age: M = 26.76; standard deviation = 8.77); hierarchical regressions were performed. Individuals' loneliness associated significantly with the search for love and the desire to meet new people when perceiving offline constraints, but not with the simple desire to meet new people. These results support the idea that PNAs could represent a mean to integrate the aggregation functions of local communities, allowing to find new people to meet nearby regardless of the constraints actually perceived. Being social relationships critical for individuals' well-being, understanding the unsatisfied individual needs underlying PNAs social uses and how these apps could be used within local communities could help in integrating people within their local communities and neighbourhoods again, fostering their well-being too.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1294
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • loneliness
  • mobile media
  • modern communities
  • PNAs
  • social relationships
  • Grindr

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