Over the past few years, researchers have been sounding the alarm about what they say is a serious health issue — loneliness. Studies show it can lead to increased heart disease, cognitive decline or even early death; and several have found loneliness has reached epidemic proportions. But now, there's an even bigger concern: young adults and teens are feeling it the hardest. A nationwide study out this week from research firm Ipsos and health insurer Cigna found about half of adults surveyed either sometimes or always feel lonely or isolated. Among those 18 to 22, 69 percent reported feelings of isolation, even when they were around others and 68 percent said they feel like no one really knows them well. The numbers raise serious concerns about the well-being of the next generation. Could it be their obsessive relationship with technology?
Jim Braude was joined by Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies of science and technology at MIT, and the author of a number of books on this issue, including Alone Together, Reclaiming Conversation, and Simulation and Its Discontent.