Sporadic small signs rim the perimeter of our our local high school with the message, “You are not alone.”
Are high schoolers and people more generally lonelier today than than in the past?
“Surveys from rich countries do not suggest there has been an increase in loneliness over time. Today’s adolescents in the US do not seem to be more likely to report feeling lonely than adolescents from a couple of decades ago; and similarly, today’s older adults in the US do not report higher loneliness than did adults of their age in the past.
That’s of course not to say we should not pay attention to these topics.
It’s important to provide support to people who suffer from loneliness, just as it is important to pay attention to the policy challenges that come from large societal changes such as the rise of living alone. However, inaccurate, over-simplified narratives are unhelpful to really understand these complex challenges.”
Unless we improve math education, we’ll continue to be susceptible to “inaccurate, over-simplified narratives” of this nature.