It is time for a discussion of the real pandemic going on in America: loneliness. Alongside the growth of social media and degeneration of society, the feeling of isolation amongst Americans, including Christians, has escalated to disturbing levels.
A recent Barna study revealed the extent of this loneliness pandemic: 53% of Americans feel some form of recurrent loneliness with 14% feeling isolated all the time, both increasing slightly between spring of 2020 and winter of 2020. As a disclaimer, Barna is a Big Eva pollster, which while they can provide useful data, their left-leaning wokeness prevent proper analysis of the data they procure.
Predictably, 20 months of Covidstan have exacerbated the problem. Since youths were not studied, this problem is likely worse than this data indicates. The absence of schooling, youth sports, and other socialization would hardly be expected weigh favorably upon the data. Even now, eating lunches outside, being denied the smiles of their peers behind the veil of a mask, and the general dehumanization emanating from the Branch Covidians, who teach children to view their peers as germ infected, unclean (unjabbed) biohazards adds to the loneliness in our youths. According to Mental Health America, 13.84% of youth suffer from depression, up from 13.01% year over year.
Barna’s data would go on to say that 20% of Practicing Christians feel lonely at least once a day, with 9% feeling lonely all the time. On a positive note, this is about 10% lower than the “Unchurched” and “Churched” categories. However, the severity of the loneliness is more extreme for “Practicing Christians.”
Between Covid and CRT, how many Christians felt a failure within the church to properly address these two issues? We have seen this at McLean Bible Church with David Platt. Many have undoubtedly undergone church shopping in the past year, which means leaving one community of believers and having to befriend another. Others fall away entirely as we saw with Zoom Church.
As one might expect, the data skews younger with more Millennials feeling lonely than their Boomer and Gen X Peers. Various milestones, like marriage are in decline and often being delayed. Per the US Census, the average age of marriage is roughly 29, with men being in their low thirties and women being in their upper 20’s.
Ultimately, this logic misses the mark and honestly, peddling friendship as a solution sounds childishly naïve. One might expect that a generation less likely to have kids should have more free time to socialize with friends. Societal expectations are not the cause of the widespread loneliness plaguing our society nor are they going away as they are ingrained since Genesis 3. Feelings of isolation are the symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself. Being nice and getting to know people will not solve this pandemic because they do not address the root causes, which are legion.