Articles, Blog

The Loneliness Epidemic

December 17, 2019

How has the most connected society in history also become the loneliest? It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. In just a matter of years, we’ve gone from phone calls to text messages to video chat. In an instant we can ring up a family member across the world and feel more connected with them given the distance then we could have at any other point in history. This was science fiction in the 20th century. It’s during that same period of innovation that brought us one-click shopping: anything we could need delivered to our door the same day. And so we bought, and stored, and used, and replaced a generation living better than Louis the fourteenth, yet finding ourselves more secluded than ever. Why do people, even after they have their basic needs met with all the tools we have available, why are we not only unhappy, but largely depressed? Author and journalist Johann Hari set out across the world to speak with leading experts on depression, anxiety, and loneliness to discover both how we’ve gotten to this place and more importantly how do we as individuals in a society start to turn the tide? This is my 20-minute interview with Johann about what he learned from that research. All right, so why don’t we start out with a little bit of a intro about yourself and about your work. I really- I write my book “Lost Connections” because there were the- these two mysteries that were really hanging over me for years Look, I was quite afraid to look into them in some ways The first mystery is I’m 40 years old and every year that I’ve been alive Depression and anxiety have increased here in the United States, in Britain, and across the Western world Right and I kept asking myself Why? Why is this happening? Why are so many more of us each year that passes finding it hard to get through the day right and I guess I wanted to understand that from because I’m a more personal mystery When I was a teenager Remember going to my doctor and explaining that I had this feeling like a pain was leaking out of me out So I put it at the time and I felt Very ashamed of it I felt Confused by it I didn’t understand why it was happening And my doctor told me a story that, and now realized were speaking to the leading scientists in the world on this was oversimplified Right. My doctor said we know why people feel like this. It’s just cuz of a problem in your brain There’s a chemical called serotonin that makes people feel good Some people are naturally lacking it. You’re clearly one of them. All we need to do is give you some drugs You’re gonna feel better so I started taking a chemical anti-depressant called Paxil and I felt significantly better for a few months and Then this feeling of pain came back. So I’m back doctor said wanna get high enough dose. I was gonna hide dose again I felt better again. The feeling of pain came back and I was really in this cycle of taking higher and higher doses until for thirteen years I was taking the maximum dose you’re allowed to take at the end of which I was still really depressed And I was surrounded by people who are becoming more and more depressed So I just forced myself really to start looking into this. So I ended up going on this big journey for the book I travelled over 40,000 miles I wanted to meet the leading experts in the world about what causes depression and anxiety And what solves them most importantly so I’m at you know Not just leading experts, but just a crazy mixture of people with different perspectives from an Amish village in Indiana Cuz the Amish have very low levels of depression to a city in Brazil that banned Advertising to see if that would make people feel better to a lab in Baltimore than where they were giving people Psychedelics to see if that would help and I learned a huge number of things but the core of what I learned Is that there’s scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety Two of them are in fact biological. My doctor wasn’t wrong and Your genes can make you more vulnerable to these problems just like some people find it easier to put on weight than others and There are real changes in your brain that begin when you become depressed that can make it harder to get out but most of the factors that cause depression or anxiety are not in our biology. Most of the factors for which there’s scientific evidence are Factors in the way we’re living and what I learned in the process of writing the book and speaking to so many Scientists is once you understand the causes of depression or anxiety in this more complex way Opens up a much broader range of possible solutions that I saw being pinned Just all over the world And these are solutions that we need to be explaining to people and offering to them alongside not instead of but as an option alongside Chemical antidepressants why is society at large? Reacting in this way. What do you think are some of the influences on people’s well-being? That’s leading to the higher and higher rates and depression and anxiety I’ll give you an example of one of the nine causes that arrived at in lost connections. We are below Lea’s society There’s ever been there’s a study that asks Americans how many close friends do you have you could turn to in a crisis and When they started doing this years ago The most common answer was five today the most common answer not the average but the most common answer is none half of all Americans Asked how many people know you well say Nobody right? I spent a lot of time talking to an amazing man called professor John Cacioppo is that it was the leading expert in the world on loneliness. He was at the University of Chicago And he explained to me Why are we alive you and me and everyone watching this? Why do we exist? One key reason is that our ancestors on the savannah’s of Africa were really good at one thing They weren’t bigger than the animals they took down. They weren’t faster than the animals they took down But they were much better at banding together into groups and cooperating just like bees evolved to live in a hive Humans evolved to live in a tribe and if you think about the circumstances where we evolved if you were cut off from the tribe You were depressed and anxious for really good reasons. You weren’t terrible danger you were about to die Those are still the impulses we have we are the first humans ever In the long 2 million year history of our species to try to disband our tribes and is making us feel awful So a key thing for me was not just to understand these problems. But ok. How do we solve those problems? Right and one of the heroes of my book Lost Connections is an amazing man called. Dr Sam ever Hampton who pioneered a whole different approach based on this understanding so Sam was a general practitioner in East London poor part of East London where I live for a long time and Sam was really uncomfortable because he had loads of patients coming to him with terrible depression and anxiety And like me he thinks there’s some role for chemical antidepressants But he could also see most of the people he was giving them to did become depressed again And he could see that they were depressed and anxious for perfectly understandable reasons Right like to give one of the examples I took about in the book loneliness So he decided to pioneer a different approach one day a woman came to see him called Lisa Cunningham He’d been shut away in our home with dreadful depression and anxiety for seven years and Sam said to Lisa. Don’t worry I’ll carry on giving you these drugs. I’m also gonna suggest something else. There was an area behind the doctors the suite of doctors offices There was no known as dog share alley which gives you sense of what it was like just kind of scrubland Sam said to Lisa what I’d like you to come and do is turn out a few times a week I’m gonna come to you cuz I’ve been pretty anxious We’re gonna meet with a group of other depressed and anxious people. And we’re gonna find something to do together as a group, right the first time the group met Lisa was literally physically sick with anxiety But the group starts talking they’re like, what can we do? These are inner-city East London people They don’t know anything about gardening they decided they’re going to teach themselves gardening right gonna turn dogshit alley into a beautiful garden So they started watching YouTube. They start to read books They start to get their fingers in the soil. They start to learn the rhythms of the seasons There’s a lot of evidence that exposure to the natural world is a really powerful Antidepressant start to do something even more important. They started to form a tribe they started to form a group they started to care about each other and you know, if If one person didn’t turn up, they’d go and look for them. They’d see if they were okay They did what human beings do when they’re part of tribes. They started to solve each other’s problems The way Lisa put it to me as the garden began to bloom. We began to bloom There was a study in Norway of a very similar program found. It was more than twice as effective as chemical antidepressants. I Think for an obvious reason, right? It was dealing with some of the reasons why they felt so bad in the first place and this is something I saw all over The world from Sydney to São Paulo
to San Francisco the most effective strategies for dealing with depression and anxiety Are the ones that deal with the reasons why we’re in such distress in the first place? You said that we’re living in the loneliest society. There’s ever been how Can that possibly be with all of these tools at our fingertips, right we have social media We have the ability to connect and interact with anybody in an instant I can FaceTime my mom in a second. And if she picks up then we can I can see her face to face has social media Played some part in the fact that we are lonely This is a complex question and with a complex answer So the glib answer is to go, yeah social media did this to us. Is this too simplistic? To understand this I went to the first-ever internet rehab center in the world. It’s in just outside Spokane in Washington State It’s called restart, Washington. I remember I’ve arrived there. It’s a clearing in the woods I get out. I got out the car and absolutely instinctively I looked at my phone to check my email and felt really pissed off. I couldn’t see it go. There was no reception I was like, oh wait you came to the right place? Right and I spent a fair bit of time there and it’s totally fascinating They get a whole range of people at restart Washington, but they disproportionately get Young men who become obsessed with these multiplayer role-playing games like World of Warcraft or not at the time that I was there but now fortnight right and I’m about Dr. Hillary cash the amazing woman who runs this Center Sent me that you’ve got to ask yourself What are these young men getting out of these games? Because they’re getting something right? I think what they’re getting is a Kind of hollow version of the things they used to get from the society But they no longer get they get a sense of a tribe they get a sense of status and they can gain in status They get a sense. They’re good at something they get a sense. They’re moving around Young people barely leave their homes. Now. It’s incredible the figures for how rarely children play outdoors but what they’re getting is, I started to think that the relationship between say these these games or For media and social life is like the relationship between porn and sex, right? I’m not against porn don’t meet a certain basic edge But if your entire sex life consisted of looking at porn you’d be going around pissed off and irritated the whole time Because we didn’t evolve to masturbate over screens We evolved to have sex right that wouldn’t meet your deeper needs in the same way I’m not obviously not against the internet would be ridiculous, right? But we didn’t evolve to talk through screens, right We didn’t evolve to look at each other and interact through with our friends through screens If you and I was speaking even via Skype now I wouldn’t feel you were seeing me and you wouldn’t feel you was the other way around In the way that we feel that we are seeing and hearing each other now, right? human beings have a need to be seen and The leading expert on loneliness in the world professor John Cacioppo said gave me good little rule of thumb. He said If social media is a way station for meeting people offline or staying in touch with them that you’ll see offline It’s a good thing if it’s the last stop on the line generally something’s gone wrong But he’s I think we have to think about as well the moment in human history when social media arrives Right a lot of the causes of depression and anxiety that I write about in my book loss connections Were already supercharged by then by the late 90s the early 2000s loneliness have gone up Values have gone up a whole range of things And what happens is the internet arrives and it looks a lot like the things we’ve lost You’ve lost friends. Here’s a load of Facebook friends. You’ve lost status Make some status updates, right but it’s not the thing. We’ve lost. It’s a kind of Parody of the thing we’ve lost and what we need to do in very practical ways is restore The thing we’ve lost it seems like today. We have a lot of distractions That could potentially pull us away from that connection It seems like a lot of people are driven through consumerism and materialism and Many of us are safer and have more than ever have before the size of homes has increased steadily since the 1930s and 40s is there any correlation between material wealth and Happiness, one of the things I found most challenging in the research for the book because I could see how much it played out in my own life Was some research by an amazing man called Professor Tim Casa So everyone knows junk food has taken over our diets and made us physically sick right as I can tell from my chins I’m not immune to this myself But it’s equally strong evidence that a kind of junk of values have taken over our minds and made us mentally sick Professor Kass showed. So for thousands of years Philosophers have said, you know if you think a life is about money and status and shoving off. You’re gonna feel like shit, right? It’s not an exact quote from Confucius. But that is the gist of what he said, right? But no one scientifically investigated this until professor Kassar And he showed a few I think really important things Firstly he showed the more you think life is about money and status and shoving off The more likely you are to become depressed and anxious by a really quite significant amount I think this is because we’re going a little bit beyond professor kasih here, but I think this is because Everyone knows they have natural physical needs right? You need food. You need water. You need shelter. You need clean air If I took those things away from you. You’ll been real trouble real fast, and there is equally strong evidence that all human beings have natural psychological means You need to feel you belong you need to feel your life has meaning and purpose. You need to feel that people See you and value you beautifully. You’ve got a future that makes sense and our culture is good at lots of things I’m glad to be alive today but we’ve been getting less and less good and meeting these deep underlying psychological needs if you think partly because there’s many factors going on but partly because if you think life is about money and and Displaying that money that’s gonna divert you from the things you actually do need to have a a meaningful and satisfying life But professor Cass also said something else. So you showed the more you follow these junk values The more likely while to become depressed and anxious He also showed as a society as a culture. We have become much more driven by these junk bodies It’s a cliche to say to your viewers You won’t lie on your deathbed and think about what the likes you’ve got on Instagram and all the shoes you bought right? You’ll think about moments of love and meaning and connection in your lives. But as Professor Casa puts it we live in a machine That’s designed to get us to neglect What is important about life right more eighteen-month-old children know what the McDonald’s M means the know their own last name? we’re immersed in a machinery that tells us how to do this professor Gossard had really interesting research about how we How we undo some of that and some of it was really simple he got a group of people to me once every couple of weeks for four months and just talk about firstly consumer objects, they thought they had to have things like Nike sneakers Once they talked out loud how do you think your life will be different when you’ve got them didn’t take long for people to start seeing maybe this is Bullshit that’s been implanted in my head by advertising but then there were important bit was they’ve got people to talk about well What are moments That’s not a moment that’s gonna make you feel satisfied What are moment’s you have actually felt your life was meaningful satisfying, but we’ll talk about different things to some people It was playing music some people it was swimming some people it was writing whatever it was and and they started saying well How could you build more of that into your life seeking more of that and doing more of that and less of? seeking this kind of junk value stuff and Just that process of meeting every couple of weeks and checking in with each other and explaining how they try to do it Led to a measurable. They did a good scientific study at this Immeasurable shift in people’s values to become less materialistic, which we know relates to less depression and anxiety. Now of course is the case that And a guy professor richard Laird has done research on this if you don’t have a baseline of material goods right If you are in poverty that makes you then you are going to be unhappy But once you’ve actually reached a fairly low level of income that you’re not actually wanting the basic things additional money makes, you know happier and actually Constantly seeking it leads to a corruption of values that makes significantly more unhappy We talked a little bit before we sat down here about Marie Kondo and minimalism and this movement of people rejecting consumerism and materialism to live with less stuff to purchase less things to Focus less on status in their lives Do you think I’m curious Just what your your thoughts on this this movement towards less is and if you think in some way it will help people Figure out their values again and reset these junk values that we’ve created for ourselves I haven’t looked into any huge amount of detail, but We live in a hurricane of messages Telling us The answer to our pain and distress lies in shopping, right? This is a really interesting study that was done in 1978 really simple You get a bunch of five year olds you Divide them into two groups first group is shown two advertisements For whatever the equivalent to like Dora the Explorer or the Teletubbies was in 1978. I forget what it was Second group is shown no advertisements then all the kids are told Hey kids got a choice now You can either play with a nice boy who doesn’t have the toy in the embarrassment or you can play with a nasty boy Who’s got the toy? The kids had seen just two advertisements overwhelmingly chose the nasty boy who had the toy and The kids who haven’t seen their advertisements overwhelmingly chose the nice boy who didn’t have the toy right? So just two ads just two We’re enough to prime those kids to choose an inanimate lump of plastic over the possibility of fun and connection, right? Every single person watching your video has seen more than two ads today right more than two advertising messages. So we’re living in this hurricane of messages Bombarding us with a very particular before Advertising sells any specific product. It sells the idea that the solution lies in Purchasing things right? I mean imagine Advertising is the ultimate frenemy right? It’s saying babe I love you. I think you’re great. But if you didn’t stink I mean, I’m just saying if you weren’t so hairy, I’m just saying, right. It’s the ultimate yeah, it’s It worked. The premise of is it has to make you dissatisfied right? I mean in the advertised you look at what advertising people say internally to each other they’re very candid about this they call it invented once right because actually The things that we need are relatively limited The whole machinery has to be built around making us feel inadequate and then making us by the solution right? So I think Movements that say, you know, I’m just gonna purge this shit right back That is not the answer right? Of course. There are nice things. We all like to have nice things I have some nice things but the idea that this ceaseless Treadmill are buying and displaying useless bullshit The idea that we might want to step off that treadmill and go Maybe I’ve got a limited amount of time in which to be alive. Maybe I’ll spend my time on things that are more meaningful seems to me to be a really positive step Thanks for watching this video If you want to get the full 40 minute interview with Johan you can get it at slash Matt de Bella Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time


  • Reply Matt D'Avella April 23, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for watching. Share this with someone who needs it.

  • Reply Drew Larsen September 19, 2019 at 5:55 am

    the interviewer was an empty seat, wasn't engaged with this guy at all

  • Reply Mradul Kaushik September 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    You look and sound like Seth Rollins from WWE….

  • Reply Umfer Batouski September 20, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Fortnite bad. Minecraft good.

  • Reply Ben Nunemaker September 21, 2019 at 12:06 am

    I saw you at Cielo a few weeks ago! Great video!!

  • Reply Zipho Mokoena September 21, 2019 at 2:35 am

    This is a brilliant video.Touches on many of the major issues affecting life today.Thank you!

  • Reply mish surma September 21, 2019 at 8:10 am

    I started online school since I have trouble getting to school each day, and I don’t use social media because I hate seeing people more prettier than me, richer than me and seemingly living better than me. Although that was my only way to talk with my friends, I stopped using it. And my relationship with extended family is strained.

    The only person I’ve talked to these past months is my mum.

    Sometimes I check Instagram, check my dms and group chats. The old group chats I used are now dead and they made others without adding me, and the last personal dm was couple months old. This happened following me distancing myself from everyone, no one reached out and when I tried dming a friend, it felt like an acquaintance I was chatting with and we couldn’t find anything to talk about so the conversation died awkwardly and quickly. But bless her she added me to the new group chats on a whim. Don’t use them, no one acknowledged me when I was added or sent a video so that’s a big lol. But I also noticed that some of them started texting in all lower cases— WHICH IS MY THING. Last time I was social and talked to them often—I was the only person who used lower cases. I also remember a year or two ago when I started using lmao which none of my friends used, they picked up on it immediately. Heck….?

    I basically don’t have any friends. I call my cat my best friend (which is something I’ve said for years), and it’s true. I’ve recently been wanting a dog so I could go outside and walk and enjoy something as simple as the trees on the sidewalk (mum won’t let my go by myself, she thinks I’ll be kidnapped or sumn which I doubt completely but she really won’t budge.)

    There isn’t really a point to this story, but it’s something I just wanted to say since I really have no one to share this story with.

  • Reply Dral22 B September 21, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    What is that background music in the beginning called?, I always hear it online .

  • Reply Brian Andrade September 22, 2019 at 1:46 am

    In our Youth growing up from Pre School to High School we would make friends with other kids in a heartbeat even after the first day of school and we wouldn't judge each other based off Social Status, Networth etc….Now as Adults parting their own ways after High School and choosing different paths and working hard to succeed in the Real World we lose that same perspective we view other people. As Adults You now entered a new world where we Compete against each other in Economical ways, Go to War against other nationalists/groups for political reasons, Politics Divides us, Has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and have less time to interact especially if you're in Debt, ONLY interact with each other based off Social Status and Networth Etc….Etc…… Majority of Adult Population has some sort of PTSD and Anxiety trying to succumb to the "Real World". Ever notice how Pets/Wild Animals are always happy and connected to their spiritually? They weren't programmed like we are

  • Reply Tricky Nicky September 22, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve suffered form chronic loneliness for years. I’ve no real friends (yes I talk to folk on Facebook but never really see them in person). I rarely get out socially eg, meeting for coffee etc. I meet my father once a fortnight to go grocery shopping and thats about it. I’m at college full time but not really connected with anyone enough (except one woman who is same age is me but is a single Mum and very busy outside college, which `I understand. I’ve nothing really to look forward to. I‘ ve no close friends, nobody that I could phone and chat to about my day (just my parents).

  • Reply Martell Tha Cool September 23, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I am living alone and I got no friends in real life ??☹️

  • Reply Kelly L September 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    As someone who's been isolated because of chronic illness/pain, social media has actually brought me community that would never have been possible 30+ years ago. That being said, I would absolutely love to live in a cohousing environment (which entails shared meals, community garden, tool lending); though, this is something I've wanted to be apart of/been fascinated by, since before my illness. The community/interconnectedness that this living arrangement can create sounds marvelous.

    Nearly 6 years ago, I visited Amsterdam for 3 weeks (we stayed with friends who live there) & I was absolutely taken by how much more communal & interconnected people were….This is made possible, in large part because of A) how more densely populated the city is – comparative to most US cities. As a result, things like restaurants, stores, museums, and (arguably) culture are much more accessible. B) The transportation system, which revolves mostly around public transportation & BIKING! People aren't slaves to their cars (which are inherently isolating) for transport; thus, people are outside more & they interact more.

    —-In my opinion, this living structure results in a much stronger sense of community, and bonds more people together (from all walks of life). Check out the project 180 Amsterdammers:

  • Reply delusionalpath September 24, 2019 at 2:02 am

    *opens tinder*

  • Reply Marloes Donkers September 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Hi! Super cool interview, i was wondering who did the experiment with the advertising and the toy, i am researching social media use in classrooms. Thanks!! Love and light.

  • Reply The Moon September 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    If you feel lonely….just read a book or dance like crazy in your room… seriously this helps

  • Reply jah September 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    i want to hug this guy

  • Reply matasuki September 29, 2019 at 5:19 am

    I'm guessing we won't be seeing ads on this channel anymore. Consumerism is part of the problem in the west. People in third world have different problems but loneliness is not one for sure.

  • Reply World Python September 29, 2019 at 10:01 am

    We’re so connected but nobody really communicates

  • Reply shun駿 October 1, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Loneliness is fine when you're not feeling down, but when you're lost in life damn it hits hard

  • Reply Catarina Palma October 1, 2019 at 10:47 pm


  • Reply The Militant Christian October 2, 2019 at 5:02 am

    I never got the appeal of social media, I keep instagram only, I use a cloud storage for my photos which I find beautiful, there are no pictures of me, or anyone, I'm not an influencer, I have 34 followers and I dunno who the are.

    Just wanted to share this, Idk Why.

  • Reply Azsmo October 3, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    After watching this I texted my friends and I asked him to make cookies with me tomorrow. Trying to maintain and deepen relationships yalllll!!!

  • Reply KASHIF7 KATO October 3, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    He juz said the same thing he said in his ted talks

  • Reply KASHIF7 KATO October 3, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Damn the comment section is depressing

  • Reply Nathan Lambert October 4, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Our Pastor did a sermon that was fairly similar recently

  • Reply The GenWell Project October 5, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    This is a wonderful interview and we wish we had seen it long ago! We are all becoming much more aware of the need for human connection and now it is time for us to take action. We live in the most fast paced, distracted and pressure filled world and it is why we launched The GenWell Project in 2016. A human connection movement that gives people the excuse to reach out to one another at least a couple weekends a year with the sole purpose being social connection. By rallying people to take action at the same time we reduce the fear of failure and increase the chances that people will come together. Weekends are chosen when people need it most, during seasonal transition. Check us out at and come join the human connection movement and help make the world a happier and healthier place one face to face conversation at a time.

  • Reply Harjawaldar October 6, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Pretty sure most people aren't living better (more luxurious) than Louis the 14th lol

  • Reply VapeKing October 7, 2019 at 3:31 am

    Hell no wonder I cant find a girlfriend!

  • Reply Angelique Roux October 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Can someone talk about people thinking their friends and lovers are replaceable instead of making things work? It’s probably nothing new. People use people for their own gain. It just breaks my heart. There’s no loyalty anymore.

  • Reply tigsik October 9, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Amazing talk i hope he gets invited in jre again.

  • Reply D D October 10, 2019 at 5:15 am

    How could one afford to meet expert around the world whilst depressed as he described? Was he a rich kid then, from where he got the money to survive let alone travel and meet experts around the world? I do not get it ??????

  • Reply asgrht sdgff October 12, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Video.

  • Reply Xyle Zentry October 13, 2019 at 4:20 am

    I'm lonely. Again……

  • Reply Rafael Costales October 13, 2019 at 6:34 am

    You sound like moe ?

  • Reply Kelly Edey October 13, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    He was very good.

  • Reply Black Man October 14, 2019 at 5:02 am

    I feel like watching videos about depression and ways to help it make me more depressed

  • Reply Asif Akhtar October 14, 2019 at 6:14 am

    I believe that sex is the real solution to depression…just think about it, if you could have sex regularly with the people that you want, no matter how your day goes, I think you won't be depressed…

  • Reply Ishaq A October 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I feel the same way even about my work relationships. The development between me and my coworkers almost feels surface level as if it’s an act in a play and less of anything real or meaningful. Something to think about

  • Reply T12J7 October 15, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I think one reason for high loneliness is the we all have our own problems now, which are not solved by socializing.

    – Get your own house by yourself.
    – Get a good paying job by yourself.
    – Get good grades at school by yourself.
    – Get a good degree from a good university by yourself.

    Loneliness seems to be written into the Western Society's structure of success, because in that structure there exists a concept that "if you didn't do it alone, without outside help, it's of no merit." This makes it so that people tend to start everything off by themselves and only if they encounter problems will they try to get help from others, and even when, only the smallest help they feel they need. So basically we are a society of people who try to succeed alone, and then we wonder why we are lonely. Might it be because we try to be lonely so that we might get meaningful success and so by not to be lonely anymore? I don't know – the situation just seems a bit like that if you are trying to make friends you are basically perceived as a loser because you try to make friends because you are failing at something and need the help for these friends. Strong people don't need help from others and if you are out there making friends, you are perceived as weak, which will make you undesirable in the eyes of others, and so by, not a friend material.

  • Reply Keith Mann October 16, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Make yourself happy first, then people will surround you.

  • Reply Alicia Miyumi October 18, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I feel like ever since capitalism we have disbanded our tribes.
    That's not to say it wasn't around during monarchical or slave time periods.

  • Reply Ion Fisticanu October 18, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    I know the cure. Go live in the forest all by yourself for 1 year with not internet.
    You are welcome.

  • Reply ScopeMR October 19, 2019 at 6:05 am

    This video was published the same day my daughter was born ..awesome video

  • Reply Payton Rextraw October 19, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    This interview needs to be heard loud and clear!!!!! Game changing for the mind set

  • Reply Julia Szpor October 19, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Wow. Eye opener.

  • Reply Zachary Kim October 20, 2019 at 3:13 am

    Analog > digital. All parts of life.

  • Reply Childish Jacko October 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Tells us that advertising can cause depression
    Advertises patreon

  • Reply Richard Ziler October 22, 2019 at 6:18 am

    "Every single person watching your video has seen more than two ads today."

    looks up at uBlock Origin button blocking 67 ads after watching YouTube all day

    No sir, can't say I've seen a single advert today. Even on YouTube Movies "watch free with ads" shit.

  • Reply fenyrmaster MK2 October 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    i ask the same question to myself, more depressed and unconnected, that was too suprising

  • Reply Luke Shaddick October 24, 2019 at 1:01 am

    We are filling our hearts with Idols and objects; the further away we get from God the more depressed we will all get.
    We're always looking for satisfaction rather than actual joy, peace and love.
    Evolution and Atheism gives no hope to humanity.

  • Reply Michael Costa October 25, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Obrigado por disponibilizar com legenda para nós. Excelente vídeo.

  • Reply Martell Tha Cool October 25, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I have a love – hate relationship with social media as you think you got friends. But without social media, no one really knows not cares to make friends anymore. I do always try to be open and honest with people. Yet, all I get back is betrayal and lies. So I am always alone

  • Reply GAUTHAM ESHWER October 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    There are few points I would like to share here , :-
    1) MATT is the best guy out there .
    2) he's the best
    3) he's great
    4) he's a legend
    5) maybe we'll make a movie on his life

  • Reply emilymorrris October 28, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    some really profound words in this; johann articulates himself so well and explains things in such a complicated yet completely understandable way, and matt lets him talk without interrupting which is very refreshing.
    best video i've seen from you yet, keep it up!

    "we didn't evolve to talk through screens, we didn't evolve to look at each other and interact with our friends through screens… human beings have a need to be seen."

    "the internet arrives and it looks a lot like the things we've lost… but it's not the things we've lost, it's a kind of parody of the things we've lost."

    "the more you think life is about money and status and showing off, the more likely you are to become depressed and anxious by a really significant amount."

    "we live in a hurricane of messages telling us the answer to our pain and distress lies in shopping… before advertising sells any specific product, it sells the idea that the solution lies in purchasing things… the premise of it is that it has to make you dissatisfied… [advertisers] call [ads] 'invented wants', because actually the things that we need are relatively limited. the whole machinery has to be built around making us feel inadequate, and then making us buy the solution."

  • Reply Naser Rezayi October 30, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Being alone is better than being with wrong people.

  • Reply sissy girl October 31, 2019 at 8:03 am

    When God created Adam he was alone for so many years but he has a Maker to talk to until God created a beautiful woman and a companion for Adam . So it's okay to live alone and to be humble within yourself and all your riches will come true with your Maker.

  • Reply Abitibi_Doug November 1, 2019 at 3:12 am

    I don't get this whole loneliness thing. In a world that's becoming more urbanized, with more people crammed into tighter spaces like sardines you would think everyone in this kind of environment would want more quiet times alone to decompress, enjoy some precious solitude, and actually hear themselves think.

  • Reply craffte November 1, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    My god. This is really blowing me away. It is common sense for me that when people work together for a common goal, whatever that is, working in unison toward something, it is physically beneficial to us. It is common sense to me when we spend time bonding through social interaction,(attentively) it is physically good for us….etc. What troubles me, and i know this sounds this sounds… the conflict I personally feel between growing mistrust and abhorration I feel toward other people generally and the need to be around them and be close with them. We all watch the news. Many of us use social media. It's a mixed message. I also noticed a recent study on empathy by i think by Huff Post or WP… that empathy for others has decreased at alarming levels over the last ten years across the US. There is a physical thing happening between ppl when they are physically together…meeting up instead of facetime. Friendship is gone for a lot of us. Agape. .. Agape love is gone.

  • Reply craffte November 2, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Omg look at how many ppl liked the comments below. We all feel or understand this.

    Maybe creating social bonding groups can be a new form of activism. The environment, homelessness,…emotional activism?? I feel like it deserves that level of attention. Suicide's a thing, right?

  • Reply Anne Briggs November 2, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    I've always been obsessed with hand making wearables and performing arts. I'm a lonely handmade sweater artist and a background artist in film productions. I don't buy much at all and I have enough to get by but I'm still lonely. So, I don't agree.

    I think social media exposes a lot of opinions that would not necessarily be known and that causes families to split up and subsequent lonliness develops.

    Ordinarily, when families get together, they talk about the things they agree on or have in common, not what we disagree on or what is different. Social media exposes everything we say to anyone of our social media friends, even if it wasn't meant for all if them to see.

    My friend list is very small now. I don't have any family members as SM friends. I like it that way. I post public unless it's a sensitive subject that only applies to me.

  • Reply Huntersmoonx Grim November 4, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Thanks feminism.

  • Reply Marco Garcia November 4, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    "Everyone's connected, but no one is connecting."

  • Reply Jesse November 5, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Delete instagram, delete facebook. Eat healthy, exercise and study regularly. Even if it does not get you friends directly, it will improve your physical and mental health tremendously and with that comes a higher chance of meeting good people.

  • Reply West Side is da best November 6, 2019 at 12:58 am

    Community is dying.

    Used to be the case back in the day, you would know everyone in your neighborhood, you would go down the pub or the local cafe and most likely recognize everyone, if not at least one or two people there. We used to look out for one another, strike up conversations with our neighbors; my dad told me that the first person in his street who got a television had the whole street in to watch England play at the world cup.

    Fast forward to today, we hardly speak to our neighbors, we are incredibly suspicious of people we don't know, we lock ourselves at home, christ I know people who try and hide from the postman because they're so unable to engage in small talk and would rather have them leave the parcel on their front doorstep and walk away.

    Social media is absolutely a massive factor in this whole thing, that and smart phones, everyone is too busy looking at a screen now to bother conversing and talking to people in the world around them.

  • Reply Suman Melwani November 6, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Loved this video. Thank u

  • Reply RodHammett95 November 7, 2019 at 5:17 am

    Amazing video!

  • Reply RodHammett95 November 7, 2019 at 5:27 am

    20:12 – 20:35

    One of the many definitions of minimalism that I really like is: "Minimalism is about removing the meaningless to make room for the meaningful"

  • Reply Kat Rice November 13, 2019 at 9:00 pm Jesus Christ died for your sins. He alone saves, heals and delivers. He will give you peace. Jesus Christ is the answer.

  • Reply Georg Immanuel Nagel November 14, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Basically he says that liberalism makes people lonely and depressive.

  • Reply DesZaIntrovert November 15, 2019 at 6:49 am

    I gave up social media and porn to be a more confident and happier person

  • Reply DevilAshes November 17, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    The idea that we are better off from hundreds ago is a fallacy.
    Yes we are, but that hasn't made things better for the individual humans.
    Long story short, we used to live on a sparsely populated planet, in racially homogeneous tribes, in small villages, in very tight nit communities.
    Now we live in multiracial environments, usually in overpopulated cities, and there is zero sense of community. Especially as liberal Capitalism is the norm, which employs everyone in this gigantic machine for the sole purpose of economic gain, which does not provide MEANING. Back in the old days, people even the poorest peasant had meaning in their life. For the European peasant it was serving your local lord, feeding your family at home, working hard outdoors all the time. This is a similar story for most civilisations. Nowadays even if we have more material comfort we lack the spiritual fulfillment of living in communities that have a purpose and go somewhere. We live in this nonsensical society of consumerism where the only purpose is seemingly to enrich corporations like Apple.

  • Reply DevilAshes November 17, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    "I'm not against the internet, right, that would be ridiculous".
    And why not I may ask? Maybe that is the entire problem to begin with.
    Maybe we don't need the internet to begin with.

  • Reply Sarah Jones November 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Isnt it necessary fir the economy that people acquire stuff??

  • Reply Javier Jaime Robles November 20, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I cant wait for people to leaave me alone,to leave my house or get out of my car.Im probably wrong but I prevent the back stabs and disappointments.

  • Reply Sarah Thomas November 20, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    It's loneliness when your childhood friends who left you cuz they went abroad, live far away etc treat you like just another follower. They pay attention to you sure but you feel uncomfortable asking questions like as if you're a stranger. If even your childhood friends make you feel like a stranger, what hope for normal friends that more like aquaintances? ? When you have no friends to see and touch and your friends on social media literally say they don't like being called.

  • Reply Ryan Jahn November 23, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Absolutely love this video!

  • Reply SavMacCauley November 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Missing the point at 13:00.
    From an evolutionary standpoint human beings associated with one another for survival and reproduction.

    Modern civilization allows the average person to "survive" with relatively little human contact. In other words we don't hunt and gather as tribes on the plains for food or shelter… though I suppose the argument could be made that we must interact in workplaces as groups.

    In addition, we can now have sex without reproduction. Dare I say it's questionable whether or not reproduction is even a goal to be desired in modern society…. especially for men.

    The truth is really that loneliness is the byproduct of a "habit deficit." A human being could be fed indefinitely a tube, bypassing the mouth and taste buds all together. That person would have all the sustenance needed to live but he or she would "miss" eating because eating is a habit.

  • Reply LEGO PRODUCTIONS November 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    the 5G network will fix everything…lol

  • Reply Andres Cubillos November 26, 2019 at 2:18 am

    This was the best video I ever saw on youtube I think, that guy is awesome.

  • Reply FT November 26, 2019 at 5:45 am

    Just curious but where are people's families? Siblings? I'm an only child. I live i the west, my family SE. But I can't take the weather there, I'd rather be somewhat lonely (alone for the holidays this year for various reasons). I always assumed I was the only person who had a large family elsewhere but I'm out all alone. It's not worth moving back. I keep thinking I can replace it, but even with friends it isn't the same, I'm married and no kids and that's still not enough, and it just seems like the old saying is true, blood is thicker even if it's not perfect. I just can't seem to get that same ride or die from friends.

  • Reply nana kala November 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    Loneliness is bullshit. When you ask girls out,they accused you sexual harassment,and when u leave them alone than they become depressed,anxiety,suicidal. Too much drama.

  • Reply Jade Beth J December 1, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I'm an introvert but I still like having friends or doing things with people…sometimes.

    I like to say "I like to be alone, not lonely." Because there's a difference.

  • Reply Jade Beth J December 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

    This was fantastic

  • Reply Eric Williams December 2, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Most of the comments are philosophical in nature. The reality of the effect is not social media, that is simply a tool to assist in causing the effect. What social media has taught us is what people are really thinking and feeling about YOU. This truth it reveals is contempt. I have contempt from others because I wasn't becoming a rock star that they could glom onto. I even had one person say to me, "You need to get me and (a friend) into the business." What did he reveal? He revealed he didn't want to have a conversation about it so the brought it up cold, two, he wanted me to do all the work while he could walk into it, and three and most importantly, that is all he valued me for. The last one is the most important one you need to understand. People have contempt for you because you don't provide a resource for them to move forward in their lives. You are nothing but a resource, and if you aren't a resource, they discard you. Social media has amplified this. What we have learned is the real truth about how people think and what they value. And what they value is their laziness and finding someone else to solve that for them.

  • Reply تذكرة للمؤمنين December 3, 2019 at 10:55 am

    The epidemic loneliness

  • Reply تذكرة للمؤمنين December 3, 2019 at 11:03 am

    spirituel void!

  • Reply تذكرة للمؤمنين December 3, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Most of what the actual civilisation gives are depressive!

  • Reply تذكرة للمؤمنين December 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Toxic and agressive civilisation !

  • Reply Carol Vargas December 4, 2019 at 4:05 am

    omg it have portuguese subtitles now!!!! sends to everyone i've been bragging to about your channel

  • Reply DailyBits December 4, 2019 at 10:59 am

    I wonder if anyone has my type of issue. I am someone who has worked abroad for over 8 years and been in 2 serious relationships. I sometimes sit down and think about what if I stayed in those relationships. This makes me sad that I don't know where my life is going and will I ever have that family and house ideal met

  • Reply Andrew Vachon December 4, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Technology separates us from each other and from nature

  • Reply Spartan December 7, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    The interviewer comes across as an arrogant narcissistic cunt and is the wrong person for this subject

  • Reply Ximon Whhatt December 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    I felt the most least lonely when I was playing world of warcraft burning crusade . Now I'm suffering every single day womdering what to do with my life.

  • Reply P Pumpkin December 10, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I've been alone for fifty years but not lonely. You get used to it. And after a while you value it. I have no problem with meeting people and having a nice conversation. But the truth is, I enjoy my independence. I get up when I want to, I go anywhere at anytime when I want to, I can go to a party and mingle if I want. I can get laid if I want. But having relationships means having obligations. I hate going to all those obligatory weddings. The hardest part of being alone is dealing with all the expectations of people that think something is wrong with you. At one time it was tough going someplace without a date, now it's ok. The way this guy talks is as though loneliness is a disease. It may be a problem for some people – but not for me.

    Many people claim loneliness is unhealthy. But all the studies show is correlation and causation. Twenty years ago, people, thought LGBT life styles were problematic, maybe in another 20 years, they'll realize that it's ok for some people to be alone.

    I may add, I have 16 brothers and sisters (that's right – same parents). But they all live miles away, and although that may have helped I have a regular speaking relationship with only one of them. It's not that I dislike the others, it's just that I am not really close. In fact we are all that way, and we are spread across the world. I ran in to a brother one day in Germany, and my brother ran into another brother in China. So in some respect, the reason I may like my independence is because I grew up with so many brothers and sisters, and maybe in some respects it gives me a lot of support even though I don't see them much.

    I even had a cat for a while, and I enjoyed his company for 18 years, but eventually when he died, I decided I wanted the freedom of not having a pet being dependent on me. I miss him – but I don't need him.

  • Reply P Pumpkin December 10, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Being alone is not a disease.

  • Reply Hussein Hamza December 11, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Matt is such a good interviewer . not interrupting the guest makes the interview so informative and useful.

  • Reply David Z December 12, 2019 at 3:13 am

    the 40 years-old guy looks 30.

  • Reply little keyboard December 12, 2019 at 10:55 am

    it is none,nobody. damn,from 5 to none. i mean what an age we are in. WWIII is a great depression of depressing.

  • Reply TheKbond1974 December 15, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Everyone always leaves !

  • Reply joel750 December 16, 2019 at 3:58 am

    There’s ONE sure fire solution to combat & defeat loneliness and this solution is the only overwhelming answer you’ll need. You’re ready for the answer? Okay good listen up and here’s the best solution for loneliness: VOLUNTEERING. You’re only lonely because you’re thinking of no one else BUT YOURSELF.

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