The Weaponization Of Loneliness #FoodNotPhones

The Lempert Report
August 21, 2023

Hillary Clinton's essay The weaponization of loneliness is a notable piece of work that challenges us with the statement: To defend America against those who would exploit our social disconnection, we need to rebuild our communities.She begins, as you might expect saying that "The question that preoccupied me and many others over much of the past eight years is how our democracy became so susceptible to a would-be strongman and demagogue." She cites the Surgeon General advisory, the exact one that motivates us to start the Food Not Phones Initiative, and one again reports that according to the surgeon general, when people are disconnected from friends, family, and communities, their lifetime risk of heart disease, dementia, depression, and stroke skyrockets. Shockingly, prolonged loneliness is as bad, or worse, for our health as being obese or smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day. Researchers also say that loneliness can generate anger, resentment, and even paranoia. It diminishes civic engagement and social cohesion, and increases political polarization and animosity. Unless we address this crisis, Murthy warned, “we will continue to splinter and divide until we can no longer stand as a community or a country.”

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