ageist editors | may 17, 2018

some new numbers on loneliness

The health care insurer Cigna released a study last week stating that the vast majority of us in America are considered lonely. How did they arrive at that? Well, the UCLA Loneliness Study Scale classifies "lonely" as anyone who scores above a 43 on a scale from 20 to 80 based on a 20-item questionnaire assessing subjective feelings of loneliness. Study participants as a whole averaged 44. Younger generations indexed higher than the plus 50 generation, and Generation Z (18-22) was classified as the loneliest generation. Granted, as all age segments hovered between 42 and 48, this isn’t saying too much. It is interesting, however, that digital natives seem to struggle more with real connection. Our take: an intergenerational problem needs an intergenerational solution. We’d like to see more examples of friendships like Amanda and Ines’s, or workplaces that embrace a cross-generational approach.