There are other changes in New Zealand society that are also impacting social connection and loneliness. Other changes in society increasing loneliness include rise of apartment living, being ‘too busy’, transport of children, fear of crime, and rise in prison population.
According to an Auckland ‘connector’ organisation, Splice, apartment living reinforces isolation (see article). With increasing numbers of New Zealand relocating to apartment living, this increases social isolation – and the risk of loneliness.
Society has become faster and faster. There is always something to do…and no time to do it. In this environment, there is little time left in the day to socialise with friends. Without maintaining meaningful relationships with friends, there is a greater risk of loneliness.
Over the last generation, the use of transport to driving children to and from school; and to their ‘activities’ has increased dramatically. But parents and children in cars isolates them from others. The opportunity to socialise whilst walking around the neighbourhood is lost.
With the fear of crime, safety has diminished over the last generation. To protect from crime, bigger walls are placed around properties – which isolates those within. With physical isolation, there is a greater risk of loneliness.
Since 1989, the prison population has increased from under 4,000 to over 10,000. Prison socially isolates people from their family, friends, and community – which can increase the risk of loneliness, both in prison and once released.
To explore other societal drivers of loneliness, please click the coloured box of interest.