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Eldorado

The War on Loneliness

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Eldorado

"Feeling lonely? Ironically, you’re far from alone.

"A 2016 study by The Co-op and British Red Cross revealed that over 9 million UK adults are always or often lonely, with a 2018 survey by Radio 4 indicating that 16- to 24-year-olds experience loneliness more often and more intensely than any other age group.

"Maybe it’s the result of comparing social lives to those of others on Instagram, maybe it’s a symptom of “the death of the nuclear family”, maybe its our increasingly digitalised lives - regardless, there’s no denying that loneliness is reaching epidemic levels.

"It’s a problem for both our health and our economy."

Full article at Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/mind-body/a30725373/loneliness-epidemic-how-to-cope/

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Susanc241

I am not the least surprised it is the 16 to 24 year olds who seem to be the loneliest.  Generalising, but this age group are the main ones who are surgically attached to their phones and other devices and have lost, or never learned, how to socialise, face to face in real time.  So very sad.

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XenoFish
9 minutes ago, Susanc241 said:

I am not the least surprised it is the 16 to 24 year olds who seem to be the loneliest.  Generalising, but this age group are the main ones who are surgically attached to their phones and other devices and have lost, or never learned, how to socialise, face to face in real time.  So very sad.

Never more connect, never more alone.

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Tatetopa

People in family and community oriented cultures usually give up some of their self-absorption to participate in group activities and goals. The individual finds meaning and validation in the community.  They get fellowship in return.

Our Western culture elevates the individual and raises self determination almost to sacred level.   Be number one. Do what you want, be who you want, no compromise. In return for all of that freedom, we get loneliness.. 

Every silver lining has a touch of grey.

 

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Big Jim

Remembering way back, I think in the 16 to 24 age group that horniness might often be confused for loneliness.  In general, I believe loneliness is in the mind.  I've had some of my most intense feelings of loneliness in a crowd, or at a party.  Now I live alone, have darn little contact with anyone, most of my conversations are with cashiers, I have no one to call on or who would care if I did and yet I'm never lonely.  

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Sheltie

Loneliness always tends to be more acute for adolescents because they have not had time to establish social connections or understand how they fit into the world. 

As far as an increase in loneliness, the biggest culprit is probably the increasingly transient and mobile state of modern society.  Here in the US, families move frequently and jobs rarely last more than a few years.  Our lives are constantly changing, often in very dramatic fashion.  We must stop pretending this is not harmful to civilization.    

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Big Jim
22 minutes ago, Sheltie said:

Loneliness always tends to be more acute for adolescents because they have not had time to establish social connections or understand how they fit into the world. 

As far as an increase in loneliness, the biggest culprit is probably the increasingly transient and mobile state of modern society.  Here in the US, families move frequently and jobs rarely last more than a few years.  Our lives are constantly changing, often in very dramatic fashion.  We must stop pretending this is not harmful to civilization.    

I don't know.  I had a lot more social connections as a teen than I have had since then.  Along with your other points, I think one of the reasons more people feel lonely is the increased expectation of having fun.  On the internet everyone is posting about parties or trips and all the good times in their lives and it can be hard to measure up.  It can seem like everyone is enjoying life except you.

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Manwon Lender
7 minutes ago, Big Jim said:

I don't know.  I had a lot more social connections as a teen than I have had since then.  Along with your other points, I think one of the reasons more people feel lonely is the increased expectation of having fun.  On the internet everyone is posting about parties or trips and all the good times in their lives and it can be hard to measure up.  It can seem like everyone is enjoying life except you.

I am with you completely, I have also felt alone in the midst of friends and family. But this only happens when my PTSD gets the best of me, and normally I can control it pretty well. Jim I do agree with you, however, loneliness is a state of mind, that certainly is based upon expectations of wanting more from life. I suppose that if you can keep your expectations under control you can keep loneliness under control also. I think long term some people are just more suited for being alone than others, maybe because their expectations are lower or because they just enjoy being alone.

Peace

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Big Jim

One more thought.  Loneliness could appear to be more prevalent because no matter how lonely you are you are able to tell millions of people about it.  It used to be that being lonely meant being alone.  No one to talk to and no one to notice your situation.  Now I see posts every day on fb from people I don't know saying woe is me, I'm so lonely.

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Big Jim
2 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

I am with you completely, I have also felt alone in the midst of friends and family. But this only happens when my PTSD gets the best of me, and normally I can control it pretty well. Jim I do agree with you, however, loneliness is a state of mind, that certainly is based upon expectations of wanting more from life. I suppose that if you can keep your expectations under control you can keep loneliness under control also. I think long term some people are just more suited for being alone than others, maybe because their expectations are lower or because they just enjoy being alone.

Peace

I have learned to appreciate being alone.  When I see the trouble people have dealing with parents, spouses, coworkers, kids and siblings, and remember my own troubles with all these groups, I feel truly blessed to be all alone.  

On the topic of it being in the mind, here's a poem I wrote almost 50 years ago:

Living and liking it now, I can't understand.

A few weeks ago, or was it days? I was ready and willing to die by my own hand.

Nothing of substance has changed, fate has not turned kind.

Living along and bearing it out has shown finally

That loneliness is just a state of mind.

 

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Manwon Lender
5 minutes ago, Big Jim said:

I have learned to appreciate being alone.  When I see the trouble people have dealing with parents, spouses, coworkers, kids and siblings, and remember my own troubles with all these groups, I feel truly blessed to be all alone.  

On the topic of it being in the mind, here's a poem I wrote almost 50 years ago:

Living and liking it now, I can't understand.

A few weeks ago, or was it days? I was ready and willing to die by my own hand.

Nothing of substance has changed, fate has not turned kind.

Living along and bearing it out has shown finally

That loneliness is just a state of mind.

 

That's kinda Dark Jim, but the point is certainly clear. I have been there myself, the dam PTSD in the past has put in deep hole that I wasn't sure I would ever get out of. But, I saw a Doctor and started faking some medication and it has brought me back from that edge. However, I still wake up some days and it's effects are there, but nothing like in the past, I think I finally turned a corner on that, alesst I hope so.

Take Care Jim.

Peace

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Big Jim
3 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

That's kinda Dark Jim, but the point is certainly clear. I have been there myself, the dam PTSD in the past has put in deep hole that I wasn't sure I would ever get out of. But, I saw a Doctor and started faking some medication and it has brought me back from that edge. However, I still wake up some days and it's effects are there, but nothing like in the past, I think I finally turned a corner on that, alesst I hope so.

Take Care Jim.

Peace

I wish you well in your continued struggle.

I know it's just a typo, but I like the phrase "faking some medication".  Sounds like what a doctor does when he prescribes a placebo.

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XenoFish

Guess I stay too busy. I don't think I ever get lonely like some do. 

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Manwon Lender
18 minutes ago, Big Jim said:

I wish you well in your continued struggle.

I know it's just a typo, but I like the phrase "faking some medication".  Sounds like what a doctor does when he prescribes a placebo.

Yea that's exactly what they do, as far as the struggle nothing has beat me yet, I can handle this, but thanks for the kind words.

Peace

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Tuco's Gas
On 2/2/2020 at 8:08 AM, Eldorado said:

"Feeling lonely? Ironically, you’re far from alone.

"A 2016 study by The Co-op and British Red Cross revealed that over 9 million UK adults are always or often lonely, with a 2018 survey by Radio 4 indicating that 16- to 24-year-olds experience loneliness more often and more intensely than any other age group.

"Maybe it’s the result of comparing social lives to those of others on Instagram, maybe it’s a symptom of “the death of the nuclear family”, maybe its our increasingly digitalised lives - regardless, there’s no denying that loneliness is reaching epidemic levels.

"It’s a problem for both our health and our economy."

Full article at Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/mind-body/a30725373/loneliness-epidemic-how-to-cope/

I agree with the hypothesis that the unfathomable drastic rise, nee, obsession and total dependence on social media is a primary factor, if not the #1 cause, of reported loneliness. It's no coincidence that the demographic that uses it the most also reports high percentages of loneliness and alienation.

File this tidbit squarely in the "Truly Ironic" file.  People use technology to connect to others and end up less connected on the deeper and more personal and satisfying level.

In the U.S. I see young people daily walking around like Androids, staring at their phones. They fake talk to avoid personal interaction. I especially like it when they get a phone call while doing this.

Stephen King might have hit the proverbial nail on the head when commenting on the now common and accepted act of answering a phone call and then engaging in lengthy conversation while formerly engaged in a personal conversation: "What was a mere 10 years ago considered an unforgiveably rude social faux pas is now routinely accepted and even condoned." 

King famously loathes cell phones. Even wrote a horror novel about them gone awry. Many past SciFi writers have proved proohetical in warning us of coming social breakdowns. Phillip K Dick is one too.

We can learn from them.

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Habitat
10 minutes ago, Tuco's Gas said:

Stephen King might have hit the proverbial nail on the head when commenting on the now common and accepted act of answering a phone call and then engaging in lengthy conversation while formerly engaged in a personal conversation: "What was a mere 10 years ago considered an unforgiveably rude social faux pas is now routinely accepted and even condoned." 

Probably a good idea to count to 60, and then walk away, if people persist with a call that is just small talk. Naturally if it is "serious business", a different matter.

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Tuco's Gas
2 minutes ago, Habitat said:

Probably a good idea to count to 60, and then walk away, if people persist with a call that is just small talk. Naturally if it is "serious business", a different matter.

That's almost exactly what I do. I give them a chance to make a quick reply or inform the caller that they're indisposed presently and will call them back. But after about 30 seconds or so, if it becomes obvious the call is purely social or trivial, I'm outta there. And as soon as my former conversant initiates a lengthier convo, I'm out. I've done this with clients too. 

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Tuco's Gas
On 2/2/2020 at 11:55 AM, Susanc241 said:

I am not the least surprised it is the 16 to 24 year olds who seem to be the loneliest.  Generalising, but this age group are the main ones who are surgically attached to their phones and other devices and have lost, or never learned, how to socialise, face to face in real time.  So very sad.

Indeed. And getting surgically attached to their precious lifeline phones is prolly the next step in technology. I've even asked those twits that question in public: "Are you surgically attached to that thing?" 

Alas, I'm a Dick when it comes to cell phone tolerance.

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Susanc241

I am with Stephen King and everyone who agrees with him on this one.  I don’t even possess a mobile/cell phone.  And if I did need one for emergency use (car breakdowns etc) I would just have a plain and simple one for texting and calls.  I have never had any desire for a smart phone.  I have my iPad but it stays in the home.  It is just more convenient that a laptop.

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Four candles
8 minutes ago, Susanc241 said:

I am with Stephen King and everyone who agrees with him on this one.  I don’t even possess a mobile/cell phone.  And if I did need one for emergency use (car breakdowns etc) I would just have a plain and simple one for texting and calls.  I have never had any desire for a smart phone.  I have my iPad but it stays in the home.  It is just more convenient that a laptop.

Same here. I have a very old Nokia from a long time ago that never leaves the house. When I'm out nobody can contact me. 

It's just me and nature. 

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Sheltie
16 hours ago, Big Jim said:

... I think one of the reasons more people feel lonely is the increased expectation of having fun.  On the internet everyone is posting about parties or trips and all the good times in their lives and it can be hard to measure up.  It can seem like everyone is enjoying life except you.

You have to cut through the veneer with social media and decide what's really going on.  I believe the people who post every 5 minutes on FB are actually the lonely ones.  They feel the need to demonstrate to everyone that their life is unimaginably swell but most people know the truth.  If they were truly that happy they wouldn't feel the need to constantly prove it.  

Studies have shown that introverts tend to deal a little better with loneliness than extroverts.  Introverts tend to recharge when they are alone whereas extroverts need to have others around to recharge.    

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XenoFish
11 minutes ago, Sheltie said:

Studies have shown that introverts tend to deal a little better with loneliness than extrovertsIntroverts tend to recharge when they are alone whereas extroverts need to have others around to recharge.    

I can attest to this.

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Jujo-jo
On 2/2/2020 at 9:08 AM, Eldorado said:

"Feeling lonely? Ironically, you’re far from alone.

"A 2016 study by The Co-op and British Red Cross revealed that over 9 million UK adults are always or often lonely, with a 2018 survey by Radio 4 indicating that 16- to 24-year-olds experience loneliness more often and more intensely than any other age group.

"Maybe it’s the result of comparing social lives to those of others on Instagram, maybe it’s a symptom of “the death of the nuclear family”, maybe its our increasingly digitalised lives - regardless, there’s no denying that loneliness is reaching epidemic levels.

"It’s a problem for both our health and our economy."

Full article at Harper's Bazaar: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/mind-body/a30725373/loneliness-epidemic-how-to-cope/

I am surprised that they are looking at this as a united community thing, it's actually pretty awsome that the government is even interested in getting involved.

From what I've seen, most look at it as an individual problem and their cure for it is just telling a person that loneliness is like happiness, "it comes from within" and if you're lonely you're not doing enough to change it that's it, the end!

It will be interesting to see the next steps they take to turn it around. Please keep us posted.

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Sheltie

Millenials may be the loneliest generation ever

A lot of people point to the internet as a primary reason for the rise in loneliness.  Is it a coincidence that the millenial generation, the first to grow up completely immersed in the internet, may also be the loneliest?  Perhaps social media has been a contributing factor.  I'm not sure one way or the other.  

 

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Sheltie
18 hours ago, Big Jim said:

I have learned to appreciate being alone. 

  

That's an important thing to consider -- one can be alone without necessarily being lonely and one can feel lonely in a crowded room of people. 

Edited by Sheltie
grammatical
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