What if loneliness...isn’t an epidemic?

Living in a world where there’s endless amounts of information to reinforce our beliefs and get us mad because we disagree, I try to seek out sources on topics I care about that help me see it from a different point of view.

This piece was notable and I thought it would be useful to bring here:

The data shows that loneliness is a problem (and I will continue to stand by isolation and feeling alone being the core problems that coworking helps solve), but this article shows that the idea of it being an epidemic or somehow suddenly worse is more complex than “its spreading like wildfire”

“It’s important to provide support to people who suffer from loneliness, just as it is important to pay attention to the policy challenges that come from large societal changes such as the rise of living alone. However, inaccurate, over-simplified narratives are unhelpful to really understand these complex challenges.”

Again, this article doesn’t change anything EXCEPT challenge that a problem might only seem more common because we are paying more attention to it as a narrative, and have more access to more resources that reinforce our belief that the problem is growing every day.

I’d be curious how this group feels about this perspective? Does loneliness need to be an epidemic for our work to be worthwhile and valuable?

My answer is a strong yes - because nobody is saying that people aren’t isolated and people still choose Indy Hall every day specifically because of our focus on building bonds and a sense of community when they couldn’t find it elsewhere.

What about you?


Ahhh, this is such a great topic! I think loneliness is increasing, but it’s more like a slow burn than a raging epidemic. From what I see, the more efficient our systems become, the less we have social interaction built into our daily lives. With online shopping, grocery delivery, mobile deposit, etc etc. a person can go days without having to speak to a stranger.

This really hit me hard when I moved back to the States after living in Buenos Aires for a few years. Down there, I had to wait in line down there to pay my bills in cash. I had to wait in line at the bank. I actually became friends with some of the tellers. There were also the normal city options for interaction, like riding public transportation, hanging out in a park. You get the idea. When I moved back to your average un-walkable small town USA, it was a stark contrast. I could go weeks without talking to anyone outside my family and friends network, which was very limited at the time.

And that was really the huge motivator for me to start a coworking space.

So yes, our work is valuable! But maybe not because loneliness is an epidemic… maybe because what we offer is special, wonderful, and increasingly rare.

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