by Daniel Hart
June 18, 2018
A recent study reveals that loneliness has now reached epidemic levels in the United States. In a survey of over 20,000 adults 18 and over, the numbers are staggering:
- Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).
- One in four Americans (27 percent) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.
- Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent).
- One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people (20 percent) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18 percent).
- Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2) – even though they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.
- Only around half of Americans (53 percent) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.
- Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.
Interestingly, the study notes that “Social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness; respondents defined as very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).” What is not being said here is that this statistic clearly indicates that increased social media use is affecting everyone, not just heavy users.
I witnessed a perfect example of this last night at a restaurant. At the booth next to my wife and I, a large family had wedged themselves into both sides of the table. Despite this perfect opportunity for a great evening of quality family time, I couldn’t help but notice that large periods of time went by with the family sitting in silence. Why? Because half of the people at the table had their faces buried in their phones, while the other family members stared off into space. Is it any wonder that half of the country is not having any meaningful conversations with anyone when the people they are trying to talk to are staring down at a screen?
This study should be a reminder to believers that we should always be ready and willing to give everyone we encounter our full attention, not just our family and friends. Phones and social media aren’t the only culprits here—often it is our own fear of looking abnormal that keeps us from spending a few moments talking with a homeless person on the street or our Uber driver. We must work on refocusing our priorities to giving everyone in our lives the time and attention they crave and rightfully deserve.
God created us to love and to be loved. We all need to be constantly reminded of the timeless adage: “It is good that you exist.” When we spend quality time with our family members and everyone else the Lord puts in our path, we reaffirm this basic truth and help to spread Christ’s Kingdom.
Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.
Managing Editor for Publications
Family Research Council
Christians can influence the world without being influenced – Tony Perkins
Women & Pornography – Patrina Mosley
Dismemberment Abortion – Patrina Mosley
Flocking to tend to our nation’s spiritual needs – Travis Weber
Imitating My Father – Dan Hart
Getting to Know Generation Z – Marion Mealor
Warning to Northern Ireland: Science Without Faith is Dead – Patrina Mosley
Masterpiece Cakeshop: Summary of Each Supreme Court Opinion – Peter Sprigg
The Ethical Imperative of Adult Stem Cell Research – Hannah Borchers
Religious Liberty in the Public Square
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Baker Who Declined to Make Same-Sex Wedding Cake – National Catholic Register
State Judge Sides with Christian Baker – Rodney Pelletier, Church Militant
Philadelphia Archdiocese sues city over foster care placements – Matthew Gambino, Crux
Valedictorian: “They Told Me I Had to Take Christ Out of My Speech” – ToddStarnes.com
A tall Christian cross stood in a Michigan park for nearly 70 years. Now it’s gone – Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star
Democrats introduce bill to counter Sen. Orrin Hatch’s religious freedom law – Dennis Romboy, Deseret News
Indiana high school accepts teacher’s resignation over transgender policy – Kathleen Joyce, Fox News
International Religious Freedom
Pence Meets Indonesia’s Top Muslim Leader After Church Attacks – Kate Shellnutt, Christianity
‘Human rights disaster’: China’s persecution of Christians at highest level since Mao – Bradford Richardson, The Washington Times
Religious War Looms in Nigeria as Christian Body Count Climbs – Lela Gilbert, Newsmax
Canada’s top court rules against Christian law school: LGBT rights trump religious freedom – Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews
Police seizes 1,100 Bibles in China’s Shandong province – Madeeha Bakhsh, Christians in Pakistan
The Radical Forgiveness One Egyptian Mother Has for Her Son’s Murderers – Lindy Lowry, Open Doors
Several Iranian Christians to Serve Time in Prison – Jeffrey Cimmino, The Washington Free Beacon
International Religious Freedom Report for 2017 – U.S. Department of State
U.S. senator introduces bill for sanctions against Turkey – Hürriyet Daily News
What Happened When 3 Women Faced Deep Suffering Rather Than Abort Their Children – Maureen Mullarkey, The Federalist
The Silent Suffering of Fathers After Abortion – Victoria Robinson, The Daily Signal
President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding – Cassy Fiano, Live Action
Ireland votes to legalize abortion: ‘a tragedy of historic proportions’ – Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews
Girl with Down Syndrome stuns politicians with powerful speech about her ‘right to be alive’ – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews
Pro-life commercial from Herbal Essences stirs up controversy – Nancy Flanders, Live Action
Foster Care Fanaticism in Philadelphia – Darel E. Paul, First Things
3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child – Kelly Cox, Her View From Home
I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I Didn’t Let Go – Leah Outten, Her View From Home
Obamacare Is Shrinking the Individual Health Insurance Market – Edmund Haislmaier, The Daily Signal
Conservative groups, congressional Republicans appear poised for another try at ObamaCare repeal – Joseph Weber, Fox News
How to Build a Healthy Marriage With Authentic Communication – Michelle Habel, Focus on the Family
Five Myths About Fathers and Family – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies
Baby Bust: Fertility is Declining the Most Among Minority Women – Lyman Stone, Family Studies
Here’s why it matters that Americans are having fewer children than ever before – Jeremy Carl, Fox News
Marriage Support Needs Time to Work – W. Bradford Wilcox, Family Studies
Couple with Down syndrome reveals secret to 23 years of wedded bliss – Cerith Gardiner, Aleteia
Grandpa’s 6 tips for a successful marriage – Jackie Pilossoph, Chicago Tribune
Natural Rights, God, and Marriage in the American Founding – Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Public Discourse
The Left’s War Against Prosperity in Seattle – Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal
The Importance of Dads in an Increasingly Fatherless America – Virginia Allen, The Daily Signal
On Father’s Day, Remember the Fatherless – Alysse ElHage, Family Studies
Thank You For Being a Dad Who Shows Up – Emily Solberg, Her View From Home
What Mothers Cannot Give to Their Sons – Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse
No, Amazon Tribes Should Not Be Allowed To Kill Their Children – John Daniel Davidson, The Federalist
What Anthony Bourdain Reveals About Living In The Age Of Loneliness – Ben Domenech, The Federalist
How Faith Communities Can Push Back the Darkness of Suicide – Emilie Kao, The Daily Signal
School Can Force Students to Share Bathrooms With Transgender Students, Federal Court Rules – Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal
San Diego Parents Pulling Their Kids From School Over Inappropriate Sex-Ed Curriculum – Grace Carr, The Daily Signal
The War Against Abstinence: Blockers, American Pie, and the Last Great Sexual Taboo – Daniel Ross Goodman, Public Discourse
Nearly 90 Percent of Public Opposed to Virginia County’s Sex Ed Changes – Rob Shimshock, The Daily Caller
DOJ Arrests 2,300 Alleged Child Pornographers And Sex Traffickers – Jacob Airey, The Daily Wire
Radical Parenting – Protecting Our Kids from Pornography – GretaEskridge.com
Does Pornography Feed Sex Tourism? – Rose Brugger, Public Discourse
Porn Addict Says ‘Wrong Click Changed My Life’ as a Teen, Exposing Her to Abusive, Animal-Like Sex – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian Post