Hey guys! Welcome back to [Best Pick]!
Loneliness has skyrocketed in the past few years. According to a recent Cigna study, over 3 in 5 Americans are lonely. “Yes, but why?” you may be asking. Is it our phones and devices, or other societal changes, such as increasing economic, political, and social discord and division?
1. Experimental results
One randomized controlled trial assigned otherwise similar individuals to either spend more or less time on their screens, while another simply monitored screen use over time in a random set of individuals. Both studies found that more screen time causes increased loneliness, depression and anxiety, and less emotional connection with others.
2. Tracking Survey
The researchers provided free computers, Internet access, and a phone line to ninety-three families in Pittsburgh. They subsequently tracked the activities and emotional states of every family member over ten years old who was interested in joining the study (169 people in total) for two years.
The researchers found that the more time these individuals spent online, the less time they spent in person with family members and friends—and the lonelier and more depressed they became.
3. How to improve this situation?
To turn this dynamic around, start using your phone as … a phone. Call the people you care about and share how you are each navigating these challenging times. Turn your video off periodically on Zoom calls—and encourage others to do the same to reshape the new videoconferencing norms—to reduce Zoom fatigue and increase your creativity. In all ways large and small, develop strategies personalized to the daily rhythm of your life so you can spend less time gazing at a screen and more time looking into the eyes of and communicating meaningfully with the people who matter to you.
That’s all for today’s [Best Pick]!
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