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Working from Home Is Killing Our Social Lives

On the topic of work/life questions, Marie Le Conte writes in The New Statesman, that “Working From Home Is Killing Our Social Lives.” For now, there are far fewer opportunities for the WFH crowd for random, chance meet ups.

As much as loneliness has been a watchword for decades now, the post-pandemic reordering seems more acutely lonely and isolated. In a poll that the Pew Research Center conducted in May 2022, 21 percent of respondents said that socializing had become more important to them since the coronavirus outbreak. However, 35 percent said it had become less important.

Some people are probably seeing their loved ones less because of continued fear of disease. But when pressed, the typical response is, “I just got out of the habit.” This anecdotal evidence is backed up by data: Most respondents in a spring 2022 survey of American adults said they found it harder to form relationships now, and a quarter felt anxious about socializing. Many of us have simply forgotten how to be friends.

Loneliness tends to be self-perpetuating. If you’ve been seeking remote work instead of in-person work for convenience, choosing solitary activities over group ones because of awkwardness, or electing not to reestablish old friendships because of sheer torpor, you may be stuck in a pattern of learned loneliness. But it is worth noting just how vital other people are for our own wellbeing—even at the most basic level of casual friendships.

Looking for a bright spot? One study found that while the post-pandemic unhappiness of the unreligious rose, those who attended church were comparably happier.

Possible Preaching Angle:

The pandemic lockdowns and health scares have greatly affected local church attendance as well. Staying home and watching streaming church services, also harms our spiritual lives. “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

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