Loneliness in a Hyperconnected World

I’ve always been inspired by people’s capacity for solidarity. We have all experienced loneliness and it’s our shared experience of these difficult feelings that allows us to deeply understand each other.

Yet somewhere along the way, the feeling of loneliness has become stigmatised. In our hyper-connected, globalised world anyone can be contacted at virtually any time and it can seem counterintuitive that people might feel isolated or alone. It evokes shame. Instead of being reminded that we are intrinsically connected to the millions of people who have ever felt lonely, we feel more different, more alone in our isolation. 

Even before COVID, loneliness was on the rise. And now many of us find ourselves living in ways that were unimaginable before. We miss things as simple as getting a coffee with a friend, being asked about our day by the shop assistant, listening to snippets of weird and wonderful conversations on public transport. These small every-day interactions may seem trivial, but they remind us of the diversity of our community, of all the people fighting their own battles. These moments invite us to step outside our own box so we can see that we are a small part of something much bigger. 

More than ever I think we need to see this. To understand that we are a community and that our own wellbeing is linked to the wellbeing of others. 

Conversation in Isolation started as a way for us grow new connections where they are most needed. We seek to fight the stigma against loneliness, to protect the social health of our community, to learn from and lean on each other.

The conversations we have with each other matter. So I would like to invite you to join ours.

By Steph McKelvie
Founder, Conversation in Isolation