The British Red Cross today put out a notice saying the UK was suffering from a loneliness epidemic. The first 8 tweets I saw about it blamed social media. I disagree. I think that over simplifies a complex situation.
Look at me as a current example. I am the only one of my old friends able to afford to live in the area I grew up in London. My working hours and commute up to a month ago had expanded from 8 hour days to 12 hour days and beyond traffic allowing. On top of that financial insecurity has become a way of life for some people over the last 10-20 years. Life is no longer do a job, get paid, enjoy. None of us know if we will have a job tomorrow and the volatility of currency has ensured those with a small amount of money often do not want to spend it on leisure or down the pub.
If it was not for social media I would have had no social interactions outside of my missus for the last 4 or 5 years. If I had the time to stop and think about my situation over the last 5 years, I would have probably been pretty lonely myself. Social media may be in part to blame for the current loneliness epidemic, but it sure as heck is not the only thing to blame.