The Loneliness Epidemic: How Online Community Can Be The Cure
There’s a loneliness epidemic; you’ve probably heard about it in the news and seen the statistics on how the pandemic has exacerbated this already existing problem.
The Pew Research Center reported in March of this year that, “At least four-in-ten U.S. adults (41%) have experienced high levels of psychological distress at some point during the pandemic”.
Children and young adults have not been spared either: “four-in-ten U.S. parents said they’re extremely or very worried about their children struggling with anxiety or depression”.
When the pandemic hit, we moved everything online. Our lives become virtual and technology was what kept us connected. This trend was rising before the pandemic, as well. A trend towards a more virtual world where technology bridged us together since the rise of social media and technological advancements throughout the 2010’s. Yet, what has connected us has also done the opposite, alienating our communities and causing polarization.
Loneliness is not just about being physically alone; it's an emotional state marked by a lack of meaningful connections.
It’s a paradox - We have everything we need at our fingertips. Connection whenever we want it. Why, then, are people feeling more lonely?
It’s a complex problem with no straightforward solution. The AllTakes team believes that technology is not the enemy here; it has simply been used in the wrong ways, thus causing disconnection and isolation. If the outcome of technologies impact is dependent on how and for what it is used, then we can change that impact to be a positive one that deepens connection and creates meaningful relationships.
Online communities can be one of these solutions that changes technologies impact and benefits individuals facing loneliness. One of the remarkable aspects of online communities is their ability to bring together individuals who might never have crossed paths otherwise. Creating connection online is also accessible to far more people, such as those with disabilities and other restrictions that prevent them from meeting in person. You can be a member of spaces full of empathy, shared vulnerability, and support from wherever you are. This is an amazing possibility when used to our collective advantage.
AllTakes was designed to make this kind of connection possible. By using software that mirrors in person interactions and energizes people, online communities transform into places that make us better people and give us a sense of belonging.
Here are our tips for creating and being apart of beneficial online communities:
Make it a Safe Space: Join and create communities where members feel seen, heard, and respected. Be an active part of maintaining these aspects of the community.
Define a Clear Purpose: When creating a community, state a clear and specific purpose of the community. When joining one, make sure the community aligns with your goals and values.
Establish Guidelines: Everyone benefits when they know the rules.
Encourage Authenticity: As a creator or member of an online community, encourage members to be themselves and share their experiences openly. Authenticity fosters genuine connections and builds trust among members.
Build Relationships: Using this authenticity, engage on a personal level with community members. Personal relationships are where the magic happens!
Empower One Another: If there is one thing we all know to be true, it’s that nobody can do it alone. Empowering others benefits everyone.
Authenticity and genuine connections are at the heart of successful online communities. Strive to create and engage in spaces where these values are held, and we will all be less lonely.
If you haven’t found a community you love, create one with the people you want! It’s easy to create a community on AllTakes - where the tech supports you in creating safe spaces where people can connect and be curious and open with each other.
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