“Lisa: Can you watch my kids for an hour this afternoon?” That was the text message I received from my neighbor yesterday mid-morning. Of course I could. It was my turn to help out… This was the same neighbor who treated my boy to a movie on Sunday evening. I was running late to get home so my other two neighbors took over watching our neighbors two children. I ran out of my car to get the kids feeling bad that my other neighbors were watching them to find that everyone was ok without me. In fact, the two neighbors that were home watching the two kids that I was supposed to be watching took over watching all of the kids, including mine and shooed me home to make dinner for my out of town guest. While I was making dinner, my kids were outside playing with their friends. What a wonderful place to live.
Did you follow that story? It takes a village. Hear the startling results about just how lonely Americans are:
The survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older revealed some alarming findings:
- 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.
- 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 can we do about the loneliness epidemic? Well, if you are in the DC area, you can move to Cheverly. Today I worked out with my friends in town at 6am, I will do the same on Thursday morning, on Friday morning I will get a facial in town and on Friday night I will join the Cheverly Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. On Saturday I will head to the Holiday Market and then Saturday night I will see my Cheverly friends for a party. There is no time to get bored living in this town. And if you are, do your best to get out and join a group. Let’s beat this loneliness epidemic together. That is why I Choose Cheverly!