LAURA INGRAHAM: Social media and political polarization have caused American loneliness
Laura Ingraham explains how, despite constant connection, social media has caused a decrease in the number of Americans spending face-to-face time and contributed to an epidemic of loneliness on « The Ingraham Angle ».
LAURA INGRAHAM: Now here’s a disturbing statistic reported by economist Bryce Ward in The Washington Post. Americans spent 38% less time with friends and extended family just over the past Thanksgiving weekend and over the past two years than they had over the previous decade. Even more worrying: the trend lines for social isolation were worsening even before the onset of COVID. Between 2014 and 2019, time spent with friends decreased and time spent alone increased more than after the the pandemic has begun.
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According to the Census Bureau’s American Time Use Survey, between 2010 and 2013, the time the average American spent with friends was steady at around 6.5 hours per week. Then in 2014, time spent with friends started to dwindle. So what explains the drop in in-person socialization? Well, here’s an educated guess. In 2012, Facebook went public and bought Instagram. And in 2014, the social media society was a dominant force in American life. Five short years later, in 2019, the average American only spent four hours a week with friends – a steep 37% drop from 2014. So the growing use of social media, along with political polarization , online pornography have all contributed to the inward movement of Americans. . Of course, the COVID restrictions have only made this growing trend of loneliness worse.