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Date: September 30, 2020
Theme: How to escape the loneliness epidemic
Prompt: How important are relationships to your happiness and wellbeing? How can we be so connected but feel so lonely? And what steps can we take to develop better relationships, build community, and feel more connected?
- “Is Social Connection the Best Path to Happiness?” by Kira Newman in Greater Good Magazine, June 27, 2018
- “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s loneliness epidemic” by Roge Karma at Vox, May 11 2020
- “COVID-19 Is Making America’s Loneliness Epidemic Even Worse” in Time, May 8 2020
- “Americans Were Lonely Long Before Technology” by Fernandez and Matt in Slate, June 19, 2019
- “Summary of ‘Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community’” by Brett Reeder of the Conflict Resolution Consortium
- “The nuclear family was a mistake” by David Brooks in The Atlantic, March 2020
- “‘It’s like family’: Swedish housing experiment designed to cure loneliness” by Derek Robertson at the Guardian, September 15, 2020
Pre-work: Read what you can and come prepared to discuss the topic.
- In your view, how important are relationships to your happiness and wellbeing? How has your opinion changed over time?
- How connected do you feel? How often do you feel lonely?
- How could we be more connected than ever but still feel lonely? What changes have occurred with respect to:
- Faith-based communities
- Other institutions
- What are some examples of new ways that communities are popping up? What are the pros and cons of these models?
- How might we design our lives to build and maintain deeper relationships and communities? What have you learned from different experiments in your own life?