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November 22nd, 2021

Metaverses, social media, and the rise of Internet friends. Few fields have seen as much innovation as that of social connectivity. But, as it has gotten easier and faster to “connect” with people, have our connections themselves actually gotten better?

Recent research into loneliness in America would say otherwise. A Harvard report from August 2021 found that over 61% of young adults (18-25) felt lonely “frequently” or “almost all of the time” in the past month. For all the online connections they may have, a third of surveyed millennials, harrowingly report having no close or best friends. This problem is not unique to the pandemic and has been compounding for as long as it has gotten easier to escape into one’s phone than to know one’s neighbor.

Illustration by Kristen Radtke’s “Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness"
Illustration by Kristen Radtke’s “Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness"