Sunday, October 19, 2014

In Person

Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album)
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The age of loneliness is killing us
Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity.’ ...... Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness. ......... loneliness has become an epidemic among young adults. is just as great an affliction of older people. A study by Independent Age shows that severe loneliness in England blights the lives of 700,000 men and 1.1m women over 50, and is rising with astonishing speed. ....... Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone. ...... Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are less likely than other Europeans to have close friends or to know our neighbours. ........ One of the tragic outcomes of loneliness is that people turn to their televisions for consolation: two-fifths of older people report that the one-eyed god is their principal company. This self-medication aggravates the disease. ...... The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%).
The Village Effect
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move To A Village
One-hundred-fifty is the number that comes up time and again in the types of social interactions that work smoothly. .... 150 as the maximum number of meaningful relationships that the human brain can manage. ..... And if we know anything from all of the demographic studies in neurosciences, if you are lonely or isolated, it is almost a death sentence. ...... When you are getting together face to face, there are a lot of biological phenomena: Oxytocin and neurotransmitters get released, they reduce stress and allow us to trust others. Physical contact unleashes a whole chain of events that make us and make the other person feel good, and affects our health and well-being. ...... Get out of your car to talk to your neighbors. Talk in person to your colleagues instead of shooting them emails. Build in face-to-face contact with friends the way you would exercise. Look for schools where the emphasis is on teacher-student interaction, not on high-tech bells and whistles. ..... what is disappearing: deep social ties and the in-person contact we all need to survive.

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