There is a loneliness epidemic in developed countries.
It has led to crippling depression in places like England and Japan and is caused primarily by technology.
The use of smartphones has made it possible, even commonplace, for people not to have any human contact for days on end.
As social beings, such habits go against our most basic nature, and may severely threaten mental health.
To counter these effects, places like Japan have seen an increase in companies designed to provide the much-needed affection that people aren’t getting in their daily lives.
In a Japanese “cuddle cafe,” love-deprived workers can access services like sleeping on girls’ laps and arms, to more radical and pricey services.
In terms of the Western world, Great Britain ranks high in relation to depression, according to rankings from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Things have gotten so bad that the government has deemed it necessary to establish a ministry for loneliness.
Politician Tracey Crouch was appointed at the beginning of the year by Prime Minister Theresa May.
She stated that she suffered depression herself and hopes to curve the issue that is taking place in her country.
The U.K. may be the first country to reflect this problem in its public policy, but officials in other developed nations, such as the U.S., have warned of the damaging effects of loneliness.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Vurthy referred to it as a “growing epidemic” in a 2017 Harvard Business Review essay.
We as FIU students live in the sort of society most vulnerable to these epidemics.
We should, therefore, adjust our habits so as to avoid unnecessary loneliness and depression.
Join clubs, make sure to go out in the sunlight and participate in society.
Also, identify which tools or routines may be contributing to your negative feelings.
And should you feel too isolated, remember that there are resources on campus, such as Counseling and
Psychological Services, that can help you overcome your issues.
You are human, so get out there and enjoy life.
Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash.