Social isolation is a growing epidemic, one that’s increasingly recognized as having dire physical, mental and emotional consequences. With the modern technology these days, many people do not feel the need to get out and have face to face contact when it is not necessary. When you are looking for a job, you right an email with your cv in it. When you want to find a partner, you don’t go to the bar to meet someone. No, you will go on a dating site who will find your “perfect match”.

The physical and mental problems that come with social isolation are for example disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that isolation increases the risk of heart disease by 29 percent and stroke by 32 percent.
There are many people involved in this social problem. Almost everybody in developed countries that have modern technology available is in risk of becoming social isolated. There are different levels on which a person will get influenced by these things that cause social cohesion, for example social media.  There are people who like to see what others have been up to and spent approximately 1 or 2 hours a day on social media, but there are other people whose life is controlled by it. This wouldn’t be such a big problem if they occasionally went out the house to have some social contact off the internet, but this often isn’t the case.

my solution to the problem actually is pretty simple. I will give you one example of an organization that brings people together and causes a increase in social isolation. The Alpe D’Huez foundation. This is a organization in which all individuals make teams and raise money for charity, the KWF in this case. First of all you will need to organize a lot of social events to raise the money which is needed to participate. Secondly you will have a lot of human contact with all the others in this project and you will have a common cause to fight for and this gives you a feeling of belonging somewhere. This is ideal to fight social isolation.

The example that I gave you represents the solution to this social problem and that is a common cause or interest. This can be fighting cancer, but it can also be something smaller like a cooking club with people who all like to cook. The only thing we leave to the people is to make an effort and get involved.

Renske van Dokkum, A4d

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