The Age of Loneliness

“What do we call this time?

It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing and conspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness…..”

This is taken from This is the Age of Loneliness…..” by George Monbiot in The Guardian, October 2014.

Monbiot continues ….”The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – Lonely Society 2015-12-07 13.06.14is the religion of our time… We have changed our language to reflect this shift. Our most cutting insult is loser. We no long talk about people. Now we can them individuals….”

Monbiot also reminds us that loneliness is affecting the young as much as the old, particularly in the UK compared with other European countries – see Monbiot article for the evidence. So we have a problem. We are social animals and we cope badly with isolation. It makes us ill. If you want more on this go to The Mental Health Foundation report ‘The Lonely Society’.


So much for the bad news! Now we need HOPE. If we are not going roll over and go back to sleep, we need solutions to the loneliness. Just treating the illness it causes is not much better than a sticking plaster.

More on solutions to loneliness …