California’s Groundfloor Club Has A Solution For The Loneliness Epidemic
Americans are facing a friend shortage. According to Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, half of us are experiencing “measurable levels” of loneliness at any moment, whether it’s related to moving to a new city, financial or health issues or the isolation associated with remote work.
Nearly everyone experiences it at some point. Murthy said we need to acknowledge the loneliness and isolation that millions are facing and the grave consequences for our mental health, physical health and collective wellbeing.
Understanding The Potency Of Our Loneliness Epidemic
Groundfloor says it has a solution to the epidemic. The California start-up, which began in the Bay Area and will soon open a location in Los Angeles, is a social club. What sets it apart from other members-only clubs is its focus on those seeking community rather than exclusivity.
The club offers space for work, wellness and socialising. There are craft workshops, karaoke nights and special interest groups. The pitch is working as Groundfloor’s upcoming location in Los Angeles already has 2,000 would-be members on the waitlist.
But the fact that so many are ready to part with their cash highlights the potency of our loneliness crisis. It appears at a time when more than 25% of American homes consist of a single person, creating real community is a noble mission.
Loneliness Can Be As Bad As Smoking 15 Cigarettes A Day
According to the US health department, lonelier people are at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and premature death, in addition to developing depression. In fact, Murthy says loneliness can be as bad for people’s health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.
Loneliness and social isolation follow no boundaries. Anyone, anywhere, can be lonely. It is an underappreciated threat. Recognising the associated risk, the World Health Organisation has launched an international commission on the problem.