What’s in it for me? Discover the surprisingly recent history of an emotion experienced by many today.

We’ve all known people who are lonely – perhaps we have even been lonely ourselves. A few hundred years ago, though, this wouldn’t have been the case. The word has taken on a new meaning, and a whole new concept has developed with it.

In these blinks, we’ll look at the history of a concept that seems so fundamental today, but actually came into being as recently as around 1800. Alberti looks at how the concept has evolved in step with the society that surrounds it, looking at the factors that have contributed to its rise to prominence – today, after all, many people talk of an “epidemic” of loneliness, especially among the elderly.

Taking case studies including literature, social media, and Queen Victoria, these blinks re-evaluate this modern concept and consider the best way to think of it – and perhaps to prevent it – today.

Read on to find out:

  • the difference between loneliness and the older concept of “oneliness;”
  • whether social media is really to blame for millennials feeling lonely; and
  • what’s to blame for the rise of loneliness today – and what we can do about it.