SXSW To Share

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SXSW To Share by Mind Map: SXSW To Share

1. 1 How would you define social isolation?

1.1. Intro: This is such an important topic. From my research on human nature, it's clear that our sociality is a defining feature of the human species.

1.1.1. Social bonds give us meaning and make us feel alive

1.2. I like to say that the social ties that bind us together form a lattice that supports our growth, health, and longevity. So when those ties are frayed, we really need to pay attention

1.3. Social isolation (objective) vs. loneliness (subjective)

1.3.1. Feeling a difference between your desired and perceived relationship quality is loneliness

1.3.2. FEELING is more predictive of important outcomes

2. 3. What are the health risks associated with social isolation?

2.1. Besides making us unhappy, chronic loneliness increases the risk of an earlier death by about 20% (18%, 26%) and associated with stress and many chronic diseases as well

2.1.1. Akin to smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes per day

2.2. Estimated $6.7b in federal spending alone attributed to social disconnection

2.3. Loneliness actually hurts: it's a drive like hunger or thirst and it shares common brain regions with hunger and thirst related to motivation and craving

2.3.1. Important to listen to that signal: Treat it with the same priority as other health factors, and just as you put effort into eating well, sleeping well, and exercising well, it's also worth the effort to connect well, too.

3. 2. Are there ways to quantify and measure loneliness?

3.1. Social Connectedness Scale

3.1.1. items

3.2. Related constructs like social support, which can take many forms

3.3. UCLA loneliness scale

3.3.1. lacking companionship

3.3.2. left out

3.3.3. isolated

3.3.4. in tune

3.3.5. people to talk to

3.3.6. feel close to

3.3.7. part of a group

3.4. General prevalence: about 30-50% of people are lonely some of the time or all the time, and loneliness tends to be highest in young adults

3.5. About 20% rarely or never feel like there's people they can talk to (Cigna)

4. 4. What have you seen during the pandemic?

4.1. Mixed effects

4.1.1. Surprise: many studies aren't finding big changes in loneliness, even some improvement as people adapted over time

4.1.2. Impacts on other domains of well-being like stress and depression are much worse than they have been on loneliness, and there have been huge inequities in these negative impacts

4.2. Certain Populations

4.2.1. People who are more introverted found the world adjusted closer to their pace and preferences for social connection

4.2.1.1. Solitude can be a gift for everybody

4.2.2. people living with a partner were more likely to improve in social connection after social distancing guidelines were in place than those not living with a partner.

4.2.2.1. on average, romantic relationships have not deteriorated over the course of the pandemic; indeed, people are relatively more willing to forgive their partners during COVID-19

4.2.3. Surprises: My research and others: older adults actually do well, generally

4.2.3.1. Those in nursing homes hit hardest: highest death rates and most isolation—double whammy

4.2.3.2. But community-dwelling older adults are actually pretty good at this

4.2.3.2.1. Intentional connection, higher priority

4.2.3.3. Carstensen demonstrates that though people have fewer ties as they get older, they invest in them more and the quality increases.This prioritization and investment really matters. A lesson for all of us working in this space.

4.3. Hypothesis: When more connections are virtual, social networks are less dependent on geography, so you might have gotten closer with people who live further from you

4.4. People overwhelmingly want to stay in touch with friends and family, have deeper connections, and consume less social media in the year ahead (Fabriq)

5. 5. How do we combat social isolation (research-proven ways)?

5.1. No universal solution, and the studies in this area of scholarship are of pretty mixed quality: could use higher-quality, larger-scale studies of the most promising interventions

5.2. 1. Specific to your group or need

5.2.1. Group activities and therapy, social CBT, mindfulness

5.2.1.1. Group activities and therapy, befriending services, social skills training, social cognitive behavioral therapy, even mindfulness

5.2.2. During covid: invest in the relationships you have like family, use tech to connect, meet your basic needs, give your days structure, get outside, etc.

5.3. 2. General population

5.3.1. Online Friendship Enrichment Program (Netherlands)

5.3.1.1. Adapting standards: managing expectations of social connection

5.3.1.2. Making new connections or strengthening existing ones with social skills training — used to be hard and we might need to practice those skills again

5.3.1.3. Structuring and encouraging healthy social interaction is also key

5.3.2. Volunteering

5.4. Closing: We as a society get to decide what lessons we carry forward to a future that is not yet created. We're not going back to the same world that existed before the pandemic. We're re-inventing so much about our lives, especially our social lives. I'm glad we're having this discussion as it's a time of immense possibility.

6. 6. Misc Important Points

6.1. What impact did the pandemic have on loneliness

6.1.1. Early, up to late April, not much change (Luchetti et al) and older adults in some ways did better than younger ones

6.1.1.1. Connections less available, but not lonelier. More perceived support.

6.1.2. It's more that anxiety and depression have risen rather than loneliness

6.2. Who in society is loneliest?

6.2.1. BBC global study: younger men living in individualistic cultures are loneliest.

6.2.1.1. Younger lonelier than older (reinforced by Cigna)

6.2.2. Social media not correlated with loneliness

6.2.2.1. But it's a mixed bag

6.3. How does loneliness develop over time

6.3.1. highest-quality longitudinal data seems to suggest that loneliness decreases in childhood then relatively stable through to old age

6.3.2. Declines after age 50 until 75, then declining health and loss of spouse makes it increase

6.4. Is there a loneliness epidemic?

6.4.1. Nearly 1/2 Americans sometimes or always feel alone or left out (Cigna 2018)

6.4.2. 1/4 Americans rarely or never feel that they have people who really understand them

6.4.3. But it's not a huge shift from previous decades