The Loneliness Paradox in a Hyperconnected World: Unraveling the Need for Human Interaction
The world is more connected than ever before... ***YET****
There have been some very intriguing stats that cite that almost 60% of the residents of large cities are experiencing loneliness, some or most of the time. This statistic has certainly grown with the state of isolation imposed by COVID.
However, American health officials have highlighted that even before the pandemic, there was an “epidemic of loneliness,” and it was affecting the physical health and life expectancy of people.
This presents an interesting paradox. At the time that we humans are experiencing the epitome of connectivity – offered by the vast social and digital platforms that have dissolved all geographical boundaries and made connections from pole to pole as easy as a click of a button – humans are still feeling lonely.
In small doses, loneliness can be considered a healthy stimulus, just like feeling thirsty, indicating that we are seeking something we need. But over time, this is when it starts presenting a problem.
If anything, this statistic underscores that no matter how ‘easy’ it becomes to connect with our friends, family, or any other fellow human in the virtual world – nothing can replace our need for human-to-human interactions.
Even with these – some may still find themselves dwelling in the deep burrows of loneliness.
This begs the question – what is it that we humans really need to not feel lonely?