According to a January 2020 survey published by the health company Cigna, roughly 3 in 5 Americans are lonely. Since 2018, when Cigna first began conducting annual surveys of loneliness, there has been a nearly 13% rise in loneliness. Nonetheless, we have never been so connected with the advent of social media. In their Friendship Report, Snapchat revealed that 79% of survey respondents affirm the helpfulness of digital communication in maintaining relationships. However, it is hard to reconcile the increase in American loneliness to the rise of virtual friendships. Social media is a powerful tool, but its impact is paradoxical — as virtual, relational connectivity increases, interpersonal satisfaction decreases. Something…
A photo series on the benefits of friendship by Janelle Mejia (photos) and Morgan Mitchell (captions).