We prize space, privacy and independence, and the richer we get the more of these we can afford, yet their corollary is being alone. Our economy works better if people move around to find work, yet mobility stretches and breaks the bonds of family and community. Capitalism and a mobile labour market make connections between people very precarious and difficult. In so far as people feel that what they’ve got to do is get on, they are, as it were, encouraged to sacrifice relationship and intimacy. But if money can’t shield you from loneliness, poverty can exacerbate it.
“Mental-health problems and depression are quite fashionable now, but loneliness is not fashionable. There’s something shameful about it – ‘it’s my fault, there’s something wrong with me, I’m a horrible person.’”
How Does It Really Feel To Be Lonely? by Maggie Fergusson (The Economist / March 2018) investigates different experiences from being lonely.