All alone: American society's loneliness factor

The Washington Post has a story out on a report that evaluates a strange fact of life for lots of Americans -- the loneliness and alienation in society:


Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.
A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two. ...
Whereas nearly three-quarters of people in 1985 reported they had a friend in whom they could confide, only half in 2004 said they could count on such support. The number of people who said they counted a neighbor as a confidant dropped by more than half, from about 19 percent to about 8 percent.
The article gets quotes to suggest that it's partly tv, partly commuting, partly a commercial push that prizes the individual. But, let's face it: No one really knows why.

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