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It’s become an epidemic among people of all ages, but not one that people want to talk about. Loneliness is the cause of multiple health issues, both physical and mental, in fact; the mortality rate of loneliness can be the same as smoking 10 cigarettes a day.
Reserch from Brigham Young University tells us that a lack of connection, or loneliness, can have a bigger effect on our health than obesity, smoking, a lack of exercise or poor nutrition; increasing mortality rates by between 30 and 60%, and reducing life expectancy by up to 10 years.
On top of this, the mental health problems that the feeling of isolation can cause, depression, anxiety, possible substance abuse, etc. can make the battle an even bigger issue.
So, what can be done about it? How can we tackle this problem?
There are a couple of groups that are working hard on trying to solve this problem. The campaign to end loneliness is a group in the UK that are working with older people and trying to help them cope with loneliness after kids move away, or after the loss of a loved one. It is understood that those who are mature aged are more at risk of the associated impacts of loneliness than any other demographic.
There are numerous meetup sites and groups for people that share a common interest or a hobby, but it is hard to know if these are the people that you will really connect with, or even the people that you should be hanging out with at all. Also, it isn’t only the introverted that have trouble in group situations; many people feel anxiety in large group situations, making it hard to not only meet people they’ll truly connect but to meet anyone new at all.
An interesting new solution may be the upcoming site The Connectar. According to their press release, The Connectar operates by asking the member a series of questions to establish their personality type, core values and other relevant information that identifies their uniqueness as an individual. The Connectar has a unique PollenPairing algorithm which ensures that members are connected with people they’ll truly get along with.
This level of connectivity backed by qualitative data hasn’t been seen before, and The Connectar team are hoping to offer a tool for those experiencing loneliness to find others who are also keen to connect with like-minded people.
Whether it’s because of a time-poor schedule, a recent move, isolation, or you’re experiencing problems with your current friendship group, it can be difficult meeting new people. The Connectar will ultimately give such individuals an opportunity to meet good people and form valuable, long-lasting friendships.