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Are we more connected but less engaged than ever?

Category: Advertising, Communications & Marketing

Posted: 03-11-20 9:24 AM - Views: 359

By: Richard Biggs

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I attended a school science fair last night and as I walked around I started to panic for the World of the future.  All the high schoolers were on their phones (as expected) - they are more technically connected than even children 2 or 3 years ago.  But as I wandered around I did not see groups chatting away to eachother - I saw an overiding majority on their own and on their own phones.  I wondered - is modern life making us lonelier? Quite a good subject in itself for a science fair maybe?

I took 10 minutes out of my morning to ask Mr. Google for some recent research on the subject and it would seem many other, much smarter people around the globe agree with me. Research in the UK idicates that this may be the next biggest public health issue on par with obesity and substance abuse.  A recent review of studies indicates that loneliness increases mortality risk by 26%. Another survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that in the UK one in ten of us feels lonely often and 48 per cent of people think we are getting lonelier in general. Britain has even been voted the loneliness capital of Europe.

So why are we getting lonelier? Changes in modern society are considered to be the cause. We live in nuclear family units, often living large distances away from our extended family and friends, and our growing reliance on social technology rather than face to face interaction is thought to be making us feel more isolated. It means we feel less connected to others and our relationships are becoming more superficial and less rewarding.

More connected but less engaged = loneliness, very worrying thought.

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