This was on the mX today. I was going to scan the actual clipping but I really am too lazy.
Why, it’s the lone danger
Loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking or obesity, it’s being warned.
Psychologist John Cacioppo said isolation could increase blood pressure, stress and the risk of depression, weaken the immune system and make it harder to sleep.
He said loneliness can even sped [sic] up the progression of dementia, with regular socialising keeping the brain supple.
He found the loneliest people had blood pressure readings up to 30 points higher than gregarious types and equated the health divide to that between smokers and non-smokers and gym-users and couch potatoes.
Cacioppo also said it was better to have a few strong friendships than lots of acquaintances and that it had deep evolutionary roots.
“When time takes its toll on the body, loneliness steepens that slope of descent,” he said.
Aside from the fact that mX is notoriously inaccruate, biased, and whatnot, and they had a bloody grammatical error, I personally found the article infinitely amusing.
Firstly, a guy with the name ‘Cacioppo’ who did a study on lonely people must be pretty lonely himself.
Secondly, he’d gone and found the “loneliest people” and compared them to “gregarious types” with “gym-users” and “couch potatoes”. I’ve always sort of thought that a gym-user (I’m going to assume for the sake of his argument he meant a frequent one) or a couch potato are by default rather lonely people; if you’ve an active social life and “gregarious” by nature, why do you go to the gym so bloody much? Similarly, if you’re sitting in front of a TV all day and night, that’s not scoring much with the ladies, is it?
Thirdly, where the hell did he find all these “loneliest people”? I know I said emos, but there are so many of them and if you’ve seen Flinders St station or were with us that day for D.P.’s birthday and saw them lining up for Bullet For My Valentine, you’ll know that they’re not really LONELY. By definition, he’d’ve had to find a group of COMPLETE social misfits who don’t have ANYONE, or close to that, and can’t even condition their similarities in having none with the rest of the normal population into forming a sort of mutual relationship with EACH OTHER.
I don’t disagree with him completely; I also think it’s better to have a few strong friendships instead of a mass group of acquaintances. But his quip about “deep evolutionary roots” only made me visualise a couple of very depressed, sick, and curiously emo-looking chimps slowly dying in a dark cave somewhere.
Keep Cool (and your old friends, who’re gold)