The Church Has the Answer to America’s Loneliness Pandemic by Eric Metaxas and Stan Guthrie

Do you feel lonely? Join the crowd. Loneliness has reached pandemic levels—but there is hope.

It has become a truism: Never have we been more “connected” as Americans—and never have we felt lonelier.

According to a nationwide study of 20,000 people by the Cigna health insurance company, nearly half of respondents say they feel alone or left out always or some of the time. Reporting on the research, National Public Radio states, “Fifty-six percent reported they sometimes or always felt as if the people around them ‘are not necessarily with them.'” Forty percent said, “they lack companionship,” and their “relationships aren’t meaningful,” and that they experience feelings of isolation.

Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, Cigna found that “most Americans are considered lonely.” The average score on this scale is 44, with higher numbers indicating more loneliness; but this social malady isn’t distributed evenly across the age groups.

Somewhat counter-intuitively, it seems that the younger you are, the lonelier you feel.

The so-called “Greatest Generation”—those aged 72 and older—is the least lonely group, scoring an average of 38.6 on the Loneliness Scale, followed by Baby Boomers, then Millennials. The loneliest group is also the youngest—Generation Z, those born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, with an average score of 48.3.

Now it’s easy for us older folks to point the finger at social media for the rise in loneliness, and we may have a point. Back in 2017, psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University suggested that increased screen and social media time may have caused a jump in depression and suicide among American young people. There’s a world of difference, after all, between a virtual community and a real one.

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Source: Christian Post