Studies have consistently shown that one in 10 of us is lonely, but a report by the Mental Health Foundation suggests loneliness among young people is increasing.
At the same time, social changes such as the rise of the solo dweller and the surge in social networks, combined with an ageing population, are changing the way people interact with each other. So is modern life making us lonely? “It can be poor health, illness, money, children moving away, feeling cut off from family and friends and the community, friends dying, a lack of access to transport, redundancy or career problems or divorce. Often it`s when people lose a sense of purpose and contribution.“
“We have data that suggests people`s social networks have got smaller and families are not providing the same level of social context they may have done 50 years ago. “It`s not because they are bad or uncaring families, but it`s to do with geographical distance, marriage breakdown, multiple caring responsibilities and longer working hours” Social networking websites have also come under fire for reducing face-to-face contact and making people more isolated, although Mitchell says they can also some people stay in touch. But if modern society is making us more lonely, what can be done to counter it? “I think we`ll look back and think `how did we allow that to happen?`
It`s like looking back at the issue of children going to work at 12 – there`s something so fundamentally wrong with what`s happening,