A few months ago, I came across a headline in a major British newspaper: “Loneliness Is an Epidemic.” Curious, I googled the headline and the term and found that various contemporary doctors, writers, psychologists, and politicians are increasingly aware of the way modern people feel isolated, unseen, and profoundly alone. As I read numerous articles, I began to wonder, Are we lonelier than our ancestors?
What I have come to believe is that yes, we are. There are certainly spiritual and emotional causes of loneliness that are common to every generation, but there are also cultural factors that shape our experience of the world, helping or hindering our relationships with other people. If we are to confront and heal our loneliness, I think we have to deeply evaluate the cultural patterns that separate and isolate us. We live in an age that makes real-life friendship increasingly difficult because the patterns of modern life make us strangers to each other.
Here are 4 problems in modern life that have contributed to an increase in loneliness:
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