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American loneliness?

Donald Polish

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) reported in its General Social Survey (GSS) that unprecedented numbers of Americans are lonely. Published in the American Sociological Review (ASR) and authored by Miller McPhearson, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Matthew Brashears, sociologists at Duke and the University of Arizona, the study featured 1,500 face-to-face interviews where more than a quarter of the respondents — one in four — said that they have no one with whom they can talk about their personal troubles or triumphs. If family members are not counted, the number doubles to more than half of Americans who have no one outside their immediate family with whom they can share confidences. Sadly, the researchers noted increases in “social isolation” and “a very significant decrease in social connection to close friends and family.”

Rarely has news from an academic paper struck such a responsive nerve with the general public. These dramatic statistics from ASR parallel similar trends reported by the Beverly LaHaye Institute — that over the 40 years from 1960 to 2000 the Census Bureau had expanded its analysis of what had been a minor category. The Census Bureau categorizes the term “unrelated individuals” to designate someone who does not live in a “family group.” Sadly, we’ve seen the percentage of persons living as “unrelated individuals” almost triple, increasing from 6 to 16 percent of all people during the last 40 years. A huge majority of those classified as “unrelated individuals” (about 70 percent) lived alone.
Do you often feel lonely? Do you have real friends indeed? Loneliness proves to be serious problem of the American society.
Why did it happen? Why so many people are lonely?
Remember, your loneliness is killing you.
loneliness.jpg
 

Moonglow

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I thrive in loneliness and am without the need to share my troubles, since I know the answer anyway...
 

Roadrunner

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I thrive in loneliness and am without the need to share my troubles, since I know the answer anyway...
I thrive in solitude, but, talk to my sons and GF every day.

I temper solitude with visiting the three.

Every 10 days I need milk and coffee.

In a bind, I could produce most of what I need but the coffee.
 

Treeshepherd

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There's been some interesting studies lately on what you might call Facebook Comparison Syndrome.
Of course, people tend to exaggerate and paint a rosy picture of their lives and perfect children on the net, and many people feel like, "Hey, why isn't my kid going to Stanford, and why don't I get to go on a 10 day vacation to Kauai every month?"

And then there's the whole internet dating thing. A good column by David Brooks this week on that subject:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/opinion/david-brooks-the-devotion-leap.html?_r=0

And then there are services where you can buy a fake internet girlfriend.

I've seen people write on USMB that their closest 'friends' are people they've never actually met.

It's ironic. Internet communities really can't replace real communities. I remember the word 'networking' from the 1990's. It meant that you were actually shaking hands and making contact with people or potential clients.
 

Roadrunner

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There's been some interesting studies lately on what you might call Facebook Comparison Syndrome.
Of course, people tend to exaggerate and paint a rosy picture of their lives and perfect children on the net, and many people feel like, "Hey, why isn't my kid going to Stanford, and why don't I get to go on a 10 day vacation to Kauai every month?"

And then there's the whole internet dating thing. A good column by David Brooks this week on that subject:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/opinion/david-brooks-the-devotion-leap.html?_r=0

And then there are services where you can buy a fake internet girlfriend.

I've seen people write on USMB that their closest 'friends' are people they've never actually met.

It's ironic. Internet communities really can't replace real communities. I remember the word 'networking' from the 1990's. It meant that you were actually shaking hands and making contact with people or potential clients.
I met my GF accidentally, on the net.

It wasn't a dating site, it was sort of like this.

I owe it all to a dickhead that liked to pick on girls.
 
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Donald Polish

Donald Polish

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There's been some interesting studies lately on what you might call Facebook Comparison Syndrome.
Of course, people tend to exaggerate and paint a rosy picture of their lives and perfect children on the net, and many people feel like, "Hey, why isn't my kid going to Stanford, and why don't I get to go on a 10 day vacation to Kauai every month?"

And then there's the whole internet dating thing. A good column by David Brooks this week on that subject:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/opinion/david-brooks-the-devotion-leap.html?_r=0

And then there are services where you can buy a fake internet girlfriend.

I've seen people write on USMB that their closest 'friends' are people they've never actually met.

It's ironic. Internet communities really can't replace real communities. I remember the word 'networking' from the 1990's. It meant that you were actually shaking hands and making contact with people or potential clients.
I met my GF accidentally, on the net.

It wasn't a dating site, it was sort of like this.

I owe it all to a dickhead that liked to pick on girls.
It seems that you will find your next victim on the net. Maybe you need psychiatrist's help more than coffee and milk? Don't scare participants and take care of yourself. And remember loneliness is killing you slowly.
 

Katzndogz

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I am untroubled by loneliness which is a good thing. Los Angeles is very multicultural. The nearest American neighborhood might be Santa Monica. The more multicultural the harder it is to make friends unless you fit in a local ethnic group.
 

Treeshepherd

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It seems that you will find your next victim on the net. Maybe you need psychiatrist's help more than coffee and milk? Don't scare participants and take care of yourself. And remember loneliness is killing you slowly.

Huh? Might be a language barrier problem here.

My friends and family aren't generally interested in talking politics/philosophy/religion and such (their eyes glaze over), so this board is one of my outlets for those personal interests. I like to argue about that stuff, and it's better if I do it here than at the dinner table. I realize that technology has redefined many words, but I don't think it's healthy to seek 'community' and 'friendship' on the internet. The internet has redefined 'socialization'. There are many benefits to digital communications technology, but they are always accompanied by new problems and psychologists today have identified many disorders associated with internet and social media addictions.

One finding is the linkage between internet addiction and ego-centrism. Thinkers in the Middle Ages postulated that the increased usage of bedroom/bathroom mirrors in society would lead to greater levels of personal vanity. How much more vainglorious is modern man in his attempts to maintain a social media identity? A Facebook page is often treated like a commercial advertizing an individual.

When a person lives in the ego center of his brain, the illusion of individuality is strong. It takes spiritual practice or a wilderness experience or something to break that illusion and to realize that the biosphere is one thing, and that the universe itself is one continuous indivisible whole. When that realization is reached, it actually becomes impossible to experience loneliness.
 

hipeter924

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It has its good points and bad points. If I was around people all the time either they would get sick of my company, or I would get sick of theirs.
 

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