The Loneliness That Should Worry Us

Claude Fischer tries to rebut the recent slew of articles suggesting loneliness is at all-time highs. In fact, the “studies” that conclude there’s a loneliness epidemic among Americans — and which serve as the basis for many of the popular writing on the topic — are dinky, Fischer says.

The final paragraph of his piece is the best:

Loneliness is a social problem because lonely people suffer. But it’s not a growing problem. Moreover, the loneliness that should worry us is not generated by a teen’s Facebook humiliation, a globetrotter’s sense of disorientation, or the romantic languor of a novelist. It is, rather, the loneliness of the old man whose wife and best friends have died, the shunned schoolchild, the overburdened single mother, and the immigrant working the night shift to send money home. There’s nothing new or headline-worthy about their loneliness, but it is real and important.

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Here’s my post on the myth of urban loneliness. Here’s my post on the guilt-free, pain-free solitude that you get when traveling abroad alone.

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