Second Life: A lonely place? Or an escape from loneliness?

Canary Beck

According to a poll by BBC London, more than a quarter of Londoners say they feel lonely often or all of the time. And this proportion gets bigger, the older people get. Mark Twain called New York “a splendid desert – a domed and steepled solitude, where the stranger is lonely in the midst of a million of his race.”

And it’s not just urban dwellers that face the challenge of feeling lonely. People living in rural areas have a unique set of circumstances that can exacerbate social loneliness, especially among older people.

Mental health workers suggest that it is “not a big step to go from feeling persistently lonely to having clinical depression. There is a danger of “‘social loneliness’, where a person feels disconnected from their family, friends and community, combining with ’emotional loneliness’ where people feel they are in a dark and empty place” despite how many people might live or…

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