Loneliness Is Epidemic

(But Not Tonight!)

What We Know About Loneliness... 

Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is clear on the topic of loneliness, isolation and weak social connections. They "are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking fifteen cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity." 

What The Research Shows

The top five google inquiries regarding loneliness all ask pretty much the same question: How to deal with loneliness (1); how to cope with loneliness (2); how to overcome loneliness (3); how to combat loneliness (4); and how to fight loneliness (5).


  • According to the HRSA.gov, 1 in 5 Americans feel lonely or socially isolated and $6.7 billion in annual federal spending is attributable to social isolation among older adults.
  • Marketwatch.com reports that 43% of seniors feel lonely on a regular basis and 30% of households in the U.S. are comprised of one person.
  • There are 1.5 million people in the UK who have a learning disability, and new research from Mencap shows that nearly a quarter feel lonely a lot of the time. 
  • CBSnews.com reports on a study that breaks down the age demographics as follows: A 48.3 loneliness score for  Generation Z (Ages 18-22), aka the “loneliest generation"; a 45.3 loneliness score for Millennials (Ages 23-37); a 45.1 loneliness score for Generation X (Ages 38 to 51); and 38.6 Loneliness score for the "Greatest generation" (Ages 72 or over).
  • The Campaign To End Loneliness has found half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all and two fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company. Over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages – more than the population of London – are either always or often lonely; 50% of disabled people will be lonely on any given day; and loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.
  • According to Academic.oup.com, over 42 million older adults experience chronic loneliness. 
  • StartsAt60.com has found that 60% of Australians feel lonely, 34% didn’t have anyone to talk to when they felt alone, and 82.5% of Australians feel that loneliness is on the rise in society as a whole.
  • The Telegraph.co.uk reports that 64% of people who feel lonely are more likely to develop dementia than those with an active social life and 26% of the health effects of loneliness are comparable to smoking or obesity, increasing the risk of death.
  • Goodhousekeeping.com reports that in 2018, about 22% of Americans say they constantly feel alone.

You don't need statistics, though.

You only have to read comments from youtube videos that address loneliness to hear it from everyday sufferers. In this video, a man went a week without social media or human connection:

"Welcome to my entire life. One week? Try months. Years. A decade. Longer. Obviously not totally alone 24/7 because of work/college, but I can't even remember the last time I got the chance to hang out with friends." 

"I've been deeply alone and feeling lonely now for 7 years."

"I became socially active just in December after so many losses: The death of a close friend. Grandmas and Grandpas." 

How Goodnight Robin Can Help...

Sometimes the simplest offerings have the potential to go the furthest. That is our hope through Goodnight Robin. As we have seen with YourHolidayMom.com, a social change project created by Robin Rice that is now in its 7th year, a consistent voice offering powerful storytelling combined with care-in-proxy, can and does save lives. While no program can serve all the needs of the lonely, Goodnight Robin is a small, potent start that offers listeners one form of greater connection in their lives.

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