More connected than ever, we are also lonelier than before. At the very least, let’s agree: The more time we spend with our devices, the more time we need with actual human beingsReading Time: 1 minute
The World Depends on You Throwing a Party. You should host a party. Our civilization depends on it.
If that sounds overly dramatic, know that I’m not the only one sounding the alarm that society is falling apart because we’ve forgotten how to hang out.
Sociologists have been fretting over our fraying social bonds for a while, but the warnings are getting direr. Research last year in the Public Policy & Aging Report considered social isolation a public-health threat worse than obesity or smoking. In October an American Cancer Society study of 580,000 people found that the most isolated white Americans were up to 84 percent more likely to die from all causes than the least isolated. The most isolated black people had a twofold higher risk.
In the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May—otherwise quite busy—in 2018 appointed a minister of loneliness for the more than 9 million adults there who are “often or always lonely.” In the U.S. an AARP survey from the same year found that 1 in 3 adults older than 45 is lonely; life expectancy has stopped rising; and a prime culprit is “deaths of despair” from suicide, alcohol, and drug abuse.