46% of all Americans report feeling lonely
Loneliness can be thought of as analogous to hunger for social interaction. It’s an evolutionary product where humans who were part of social groups were much more likely to survive than those living alone.
The enlightenment and industrial revolution stressed the importance of the individual and deemphasized the importance of social groups.
In the modern world we move away from the social groups of our childhood and have more troubles forming strong bonds as adults.
Chronic loneliness is extremely unhealthy, more so than obesity or smoking.