By the year 2050, more than 66% of the world’s population will be living in so-called “smart cities,” according to UN research. Those cities will be highly connected with digital devices monitoring our activity, making matches, managing our inboxes, tracking mosquitos, folding our laundry, and helping us work remotely. There will be flying cars, driverless cars, and robots bringing us our food and picking our clothing. The future is very digital, but that reliance on digital connectivity could come with a price (aside from the inevitable rise of the sentient machine, of course). The cost could be in the form of extreme loneliness, isolation, and depression, at least according to a new article over at The Week.
The “epidemic of loneliness” is already on the rise. According to The Week, a quarter of Vancouver residents feel lonely sometimes, more than one in eight Brits say they don’t consider anyone a close friend, and “the number of Americans who say they have no close friends has roughly tripled in recent decades.”