In an increasingly hyper connected world, loneliness is on the rise. It seems like a dichotomy, but social researchers say it actually makes sense even as it also forces a heavy toll on those of us who are heavily connected but increasingly isolated despite all our social interactions. Recent surveys show that more than fifteen percent of Australians have no friends they feel comfortable enough to drop in on for a visit absent an invitation. That seems like a statistic that might produce a shrug, except it’s ten percent higher than the number when the same survey was conducted in the mid 1980s.
Worse, the number of friends people describe as close has dropped by about half overall between 2005 and today; from about six and a half per person to just under four. Nearly twenty percent of Australians say they would be reluctant to get in touch with even neighbors who live near their homes or apartments, even in a time of crisis. Add it all up, and even though everyone’s life gives the appearance of being full of social interactions, that socialization is actually becoming more and more shallow. Deep and meaningful social connections are not being built, and it’s leaving people feeling more alone than ever before.
Social media may keep you in touch with others, but it doesn’t built real connections. #HealthStatus
- 1Men more than women have trouble making friends, especially those outside of their families.
- 2Use of technology is the reason people are not able to make friends.
- 3Having less friends to talk to one on one also increases the degree of mental health issues people have.
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