The Jury Talks Back

12/17/2018

Loneliness Is Killing More Americans Every Year

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:15 am

Karol Markowicz in the New York Post:

Americans are dying — earlier than they have been and often at their own hands.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 tally, there has been a dramatic rise in the numbers of US deaths by suicide and drug overdose.

Many of the books I have read lately have discussed this phenomenon and have reached the same conclusion about its cause: loneliness. These books range from The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Haidt and FIRE President Greg Lukianoff, to Them: Why We Hate Each Other–and How to Heal by Ben Sasse (both affiliate links). Markowicz agrees:

An op-ed in The New York Times by Arthur Brooks a few weeks ago noted that Americans are suffering from an “epidemic of loneliness.” Brooks cited a large-scale survey by the insurance company Cigna, in which nearly half of respondents said “they sometimes or always feel alone or ‘left out.’ ” More than 10 percent of respondents reported that “zero people know them well.”

That’s a lot of people adrift without anyone to cling to. In 2019, let’s work on being kinder to each other.

Let’s be the people who step in when someone is hurting or in trouble. Let’s put down our phones and laptops
and make connections on our blocks and in our neighborhoods. Let’s seek out the lonely, the outcasts. Let 2018’s victims open our eyes to the desperation all around us.

We’re literally dying without each other.

Great piece. Read it all.

2 Comments »

  1. We were made to be in community. Social Media, or more specifically, our society’s lack of ability to cope with online platforms, has become a scourge upon our culture closing off individuals to what we’ve been called to do: congregate and help each other. Faceless accounts have made it easy for people to engage in destructive practices all the while walling themselves in from the world around them. Social connections have been made frail and cheap through Twitter and Instagram followings, virtue signaling via Facebook, and tactless relationships through online comment boards. Our country lost it’s path decades ago and we’re now untethering from one another. Both will lead to our society’s downfall sooner rather than later. And if we don’t figure this out quickly we won’t have to worry about climate change or a nuclear North Korea/Iran because we’ll be the instruments of our own destruction before either of those two “crisis'” affect our population.

    Comment by Sean — 12/17/2018 @ 8:28 am

  2. Good comment, Sean.

    Comment by Dana — 12/17/2018 @ 3:32 pm

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