Industrialization has brought us immense wealth and free time. But at what cost? University of Chicago professor John Cacioppo explores the hidden costs in his book, Loneliness, which is featured in The Nature of Loneliness.
As is more fully set forth in the article, we are mammals. We need physical connection with others as much as we need oxygen. And yet while we have become more virtually connected in today’s globalized economy, we have also become more physically isolated. People date online, do business online, and virtually live online. We have moved from the country, to the city, to the internet. Mr. Cacioppo has some very provoking thoughts about the costs of such virtual connectivity — and isolation — on our health. Workplaces who foster more physical networking and collaboration among the team often increase productivity. Perhaps that is why internet companies — such as Google, Facebook, and the like — are so successful. By collaborating with one other, their members feel more like part of the team that has a common purpose.