If you’ve ever felt lonely at work, you know it’s possible to be surrounded by people at the office and to still feel completely alone. This feeling is isolating, and it’s a growing epidemic. After more than nine million people in the U.K. reported feeling lonely most of their days, the country recently appointed a minister for loneliness to investigate the issue. In the United States, over 40% of adults report feeling lonely.
The former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy outlined the stakes: We need to address this as a mental health crisis or it will ruin our societies.
“Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” he wrote. “If we cannot rebuild strong, authentic social connections, we will continue to splinter apart — in the workplace and in society.”
The passage above was written by Monica Torres, for Ladders.
It’s a well written article that intrigued me. I will not dismiss the personal feelings of loneliness nor will I is dispense of the need to research or investigate any plausible longterm effects on society. I was struck in a funny way (part of being the BerZerktoad) by the statement, (highlighted above in bold).
A “minister of loneliness”? Really? What next in Britain? Do we hire one for extremely happy people? Please do not ask me to define happy. And what is the metric for this definition? What’s the measuring stick? Yes, I just went there. 🙂
It just seems, well silly to me. Another job created by bureaucratic buffoons. Yes, it happens in every country. It’s not just relegated to the USA only.
So, how many employees does this department have – or is it a one man job? In which case, wouldn’t he/she (don’t get me started on that subject), be —lonely? So now the Minister of Loneliness is getting paid to make rules and regulations on being lonely, because he/she is? Counter intuitive, don’t you think?
How does this person refrain from being lonely, assuming he is the only one in the department? Does he listen to music? And what would he listen to? Blues, jazz, punk, funk, etc? Hey, I know, HIS song could be One is the Loneliest Number, (Three Dog Night), or perhaps Roy Orbison’s, “Only the Lonely.” Why not? They are perfect matches, one would think?
I guess while I poke fun at the title of Minister of Loneliness, because I can, I am wondering who would really take the job? What are the benefits? What’s the pay rate? How do you define improvement and or measure improvements?
No one really knows I suppose. I know for certain, this one doesn’t.