In the News (Time): “Loneliness kills. That’s the conclusion of a new study by Brigham Young University researchers who say they are sounding the alarm on what could be the next big public-health issue, on par with obesity and substance abuse.
“The subjective feeling of loneliness increases risk of death by 26%, according to the new study in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Social isolation — or lacking social connection — and living alone were found to be even more devastating to a person’s health than feeling lonely, respectively increasing mortality risk by 29% and 32%.
“The researchers emphasized the difference between the subjective, self-reported feeling of loneliness and the objective state of being socially isolated. Both are potentially damaging, the study found. People who say they are alone but feel happy are at increased risk of death, as are those who have many social connections but say they are lonely. People who are both objectively isolated and subjectively lonely may be at the greatest risk of death, says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, an author of the study, though she notes that more data would be needed to know with certainty.”
My Comment: This problem will be manifested increasingly as the world becomes more tied with external connections, but people become more and more lonely. There is a constant discrepancy between our negative and positive connections in the world, and the magnitude of this discrepancy brings about all the suffering in the world.