Campfire Fellows demonstrated an acute awareness of the prevalence and impact of social isolation and loneliness in our country today. This growing phenomenon factors into their thinking about how to elevate dialogue and deepen civic engagement. They recognize that reducing isolation and loneliness might be a key component of maintaining a strong democracy - even if it isn’t the first thing to come to mind when we assess the national equation and our increasingly polarized discourse.
This is a timely topic.
New research - Generation Z is stressed, depressed and exam-obsessed - shows that Gen Z is extremely affected by the loneliness we discussed. Courtesy of The Economist, here is a chart:
The Economist has written about this before: Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays: But they are also lonelier and more isolated.
Additional research - out of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health - looks at the issue as a public health crisis: Rates of Social Isolation Vary by Rurality and Demographics. “Social isolation needs to be examined across a range of subjective and objective traits and experiences. No one measure can capture the full extent of social participation or isolation,” writes Assistant Professor and deputy director of the School of Public Health’s Rural Health Research Center Carrie Henning-Smith.
How do we address the growing tide of loneliness and isolation plaguing our nation? Especially since we’re now at risk of passing it from generation to generation? How can CtK’s mission continue to bring people together and build ties that bind?
We want to know what you think.