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Why Loneliness Has Become a Modern Epidemic
Do you often feel lonely? If you do, you may spend a lot of time wondering whatís wrong with you.
It may seem as if everyone else but you has lots of friends. It may seem like everyone else is always getting invited to go to exciting parties. And it may seem like youíre the only one who is left at home, waiting for the phone to ring, wondering why no one ever calls you to invite you out.
Actually, loneliness is much more common than you might think. There is actually an epidemic of loneliness in many societies today.
This may surprise you.
After all, so many millions of us in the modern world are jammed close together in large teeming cities, and we have at hand all the technological conveniences that are supposed to bring people closer together, such as e-mail, telephones, faxes, and the Internet. Why are so many of us more lonely than ever?
The reason is that society has changed very rapidly in the past two or three hundred years. Many of the social factors that used to make it easy to make and keep friends for a lifetime have disappeared.
Families have changed a lot in recent decades. A hundred years ago, most families were very large, with many children, aunts and uncles and cousins living close by. Family members often worked together on the farm or in a family business all day long.
Today, families have shrunk in size, and family members are now so busy with their own separate projects, they rarely see each other. Families break up more often than they used to, and it is now much more common for family members to move thousands of miles away, to new jobs, new wives, or new husbands.
People used to live in the same small community for their entire lives. They stayed in the same job for decades.
These factors made it easy to make friends and keep friends.
Today, many people change jobs every few years, and they move to new cities, and leave behind family members and friends.
And many people today are very, very busy. In many ways, modern technology has not freed us from having to work harder. It has actually had the opposite effect of making us work harder and faster just to stay in the same place.
Another factor that contributes to increased loneliness is modern entertainment and communication technology.
Before the advent of television and the Internet, people had ways of having fun together every day. Many of these primitive methods of having fun have almost disappeared in the modern world.
In the old days, people used to actually talk to each other! They would play games together. They would make music.
Now this sort of primitive entertainment only occurs during a power outage. Most people now feel lost without a TV set and computer. Even in the same family, people barely know each other.
The increase in these modern forms of communication have actually decreased other forms of human interaction.
As people spend more time on the Internet, or with their text messaging, or playing games on computers, they are spending far less time actually interacting with the people around them. It has become a lot easier for people to cocoon themselves in their homes, and never see anyone.
Many people are actually spending less time developing their social skills while they may be vastly improving their computer skills.
In the modern world it seems almost everyone is pressed for time. We are often far too busy at work to develop friendships, and when we come home exhausted at the end of the day, we are too tired to make plans to socialize. Some of us live in neighborhoods where it isnít really safe to go out after dark. It becomes all too easy to eat a quick supper and spend our evening hours mentally decompressing in front of the television set or computer.
Loneliness is a bigger problem for more people today than at any previous time in history.
The truly ironic fact about loneliness is that if you are lonely, you are not alone!
Still, it is possible to make new friends in this modern world.
If you have been suffering from loneliness, itís time to stop blaming yourself, and itís time to stop blaming the rest of the world.
You can make new friends, but you will have to learn new techniques, and you will have to make the effort to meet many more new people. If you learn the secrets of those people who make friends easily, you too can have a happy social life, and your loneliness will be a thing of the past!
About the Author: This article is written by Royane Real, author of the new downloadable book "How You Can Have All the Friends You Want" If you want to read more articles on making friends and other self help topics, visit http://friendshipvillage.bravehost.com