Sunday, October 15, 2023

Americans Are Still Lonely

Loneliness in America has not, in any remarkable way, been ameliorated. Instead, our focus has been diverted elsewhere. 

In light of the news of the still unfolding Israel-Hamas war,  American media has all but completely forgotten America's deadly loneliness epidemic. 

The Hill, a news outlet I frequent for it's concise articles on all things politics, has dedicated nearly all of it's recent coverage to two topics: The Israel-Hamas war and the headache-inducing circus sideshow that is the House Speakership battle. Of the last 16 articles written in The Hill (there are 16 articles per page), 6 cover Mid-East affairs; 4, the speakership race; and the remaining 6 reporting on the 2024 presidential race, and COVID-19. 

In fact, the last article written for The Hill on the topic of social atomization was on September 28, Loneliness: The Silent Epidemic Hiding in Plain Sight. Since then: crickets. 

While other outlets have continued to report on the problem head-on (Front Porch Republic, Governing, and Business Insider, to name a few), most have ceased coverage. 

Business Insider, to their credit, has been all over the issue. I recently wrote a short article for National Review, referencing a great piece about declining friendship among young Americans that I read in Insider. You can read that here

All in all, though, coverage has diminished ever since U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy's, eye-opening 85-page report, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation, released in May of this year. This report sparked a huge flurry of articles on the matter, as well as media attention and some chirping from the legislature. Who can forget when Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced legislation that would establish an "Office of Social Connection Policy" back in July? While that was certainly a futile effort, at least the issue was at the forefront of our political discourse!

For now, the epidemic has faded, but not because it has been remedied in any way at all. 


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