A survey in 2021 found 36% of all Americans- including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children – feel “serious loneliness.” Loneliness has increased substantially since the outbreak of the global pandemic.
For those who would like to hold someone’s hand as they walk around, but can’t find anyone human who will oblige, engineers at Gifu University in Japan have invented the “My Girlfriend in Walk”. It’s a robotic hand covered in soft, skin-like gel that will grip your hand. Plus, it emits the scent of a woman’s shampoo, and (through a smartphone app) can simulate the sounds of breathing and rustling clothes.
The inventors hope that it might help people who have been isolated due to the pandemic.
UK has started Minister of Loneliness, currently held by Tracey Crouch, after growing consensus that loneliness is a public health concern.
Most lonely people don’t lack social skills. They just find themselves in lonely situations. However, loneliness can create a behavioral trap whereby lonely people focus on “I want this person to like me” in social situations, making themselves uninteresting to others in the process.
Sammy Nahas, a 38-year-old electrician from Staten Island, has spent over $100,000 on Christmas decorations in the last three years. This year alone, he estimates spending around $60,000. The season isn’t all cheery and bright for Nahas. After finalizing a divorce three years ago, he said that Christmas Day actually became the most depressing day of the year for him. But once it’s over, he starts planning for next year.
Loneliness is processed in the same part of the brain as physical pain.