When We Become Strangers: How Loneliness Leaks into Our Lives and What We Can Do About It

Maggie Hamilton. Murdoch, $25.99 trade paper (354p) ISBN 978-1-911668-06-0
The world is suffering from an “epidemic of loneliness,” according to this helpful guide from clinical psychologist Hamilton (What’s Happening to Our Girls?). Though “feelings of estrangement” driven by social media, increasing workloads and job stress, loss of faith in government and other public institutions, and the “wall-to-wall entertainment” available on personal devices have been on the rise for years, according to Hamilton, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem. She offers advice on how to avoid becoming a “silo” in the workplace and in one’s community, and encourages parents to limit their children’s unstructured screen time and help them build social skills by talking to neighbors and shopkeepers. Throughout, Hamilton emphasizes the importance of building bridges with people who have different interests, backgrounds, and sociopolitical views, though her advice for finding common ground (“difference is challenging, until we learn to relax around each other and give people a go”) is somewhat vague. Still, readers nostalgic for a more bipartisan era and those looking to overcome social anxieties will be encouraged by this earnest call for change. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/04/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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