Are Americans More ‘Lonely’ Than Ever?

Ironically, sometimes the holidays can remind us of how lonely we really are.

Think about it: we’re “supposed to be” surrounded by friends and family this time of year. When we aren’t, folks might sometimes ask, “what’s wrong?” as though it’s abnormal to be away from family during the holidays. There are a million different reasons why family and friends may not be together even though they want to be. 

I’m away from mine because I live in Minnesota, and my immediate family lives in Pittsburgh. 

Since I had a quieter Thanksgiving Break than most, I found time to read an interesting New York Times article that examines why Americans are “lonely” today.  Why is this?

One suggestion in the article reads: “In the “siloed,” or isolated, worlds of cable television, ideological punditry, campus politics, and social media, people find a sense of community in the polarized tribes forming on the left and the right in America. Essentially, people locate their sense of “us” through the contempt peddled about “them” on the other side of the political spectrum.”

Holly Kasinak Photography

Are we really that lonely? Have we made our communities “home” …truly? That New York Times article suggested that maybe we aren’t, and the way to resolve our loneliness is to embrace where we are and who is around us… wherever that is. 

I can admit to feeling lonely a lot of the time because there is such a great physical distance between me and my loved ones. It’s not just the physical distance that can separate us as a society. Excuses can separate us too. Sure, we all need time to take care of ourselves – however… I don’t know about you, but being around others is definitely something I need to feel “good” or at least “better” in life.

My husband and a few friends are all I have in Minnesota. It’s going to be my goal in 2019 to make Rochester home. 

If you’re feeling “lonely” know that you’re definitely not “alone” in that feeling.

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