Make no mistake. Loneliness is a killer.
Let’s face it, society is becoming more dependent on social media every day. It is fantastic and it is equally dangerously addictive. It can build hopes, aspirations and be an invaluable tool for social change. But it can also alienate and destroy lives. It is possibly the most powerful communications medium of all. But it is out of control in that no-one can protect us, no-one can foresee the increasing dangers and it is where the most dangerous can hide.
It is also where normal people retreat to, sometimes when they feel they can no longer socialise and it can be the only link to ‘the outside world’. It is also slowly but surely diminishing our ability to socialise, to have meaningful face to face conversations.
FACT. People who have social contact live longer and are generally more content and have more fulfilling lives. Various studies have been carried out to establish quite why people in some of the poorest parts of the world are living longer, which goes against past thinking that the more wealthy who had access to private health care, better food and nutrition and all else that creates the illusion we are happier and more content live longer.
It is all about connection. Friendship, Family, Belonging. Wherever your tribe or if you are lucky tribes, whatever joy they bring you. This is the ‘social glue’ which holds us together.
On an individual level, what's to be done? Take time out and have a conversation with someone new, make a human connection, face to face. On the train, on the bus. I do just about every day. It could make all the difference in the world. Yours and theirs.