Have you ever thought about what it’s like not to have anyone to talk to or share things with for more than a week? Imagine turning off your phone and not leaving the house for seven straight days. How would you feel? Would you let loneliness fill your heart? This is exactly what one man did to show what it’s like to have no connection for seven days in order to demonstrate how more than a million elderly people in the UK feel on a daily basis.
Watch the video documenting this fascinating social experiment
Source: Campaign to End Loneliness
Extrovert Joseph Lindoe went seven days without seeing anyone and filmed what happened as a way of contributing to The Loneliness Project, a campaign to end loneliness and isolation. Joe had no phone, internet access, or contact with the outside world during the week he spent in a small North London flat.
While he seemed to enjoy the peace and quiet time of not having to communicate with anyone, at first as time passed by, he realized the harsh reality of loneliness. Eventually, Joseph has trouble sleeping as he didn’t feel “mentally prepared for bed” and revealed he started feeling ‘truly trapped’.
“It’s just been a constant nothingness,” he revealed.
The video is part of the Campaign to End Loneliness, which encourages people to do more to help isolation that comes with old age.
“There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK,” the website says. “People who don’t receive the friendship, support and connections we all need. Nobody should be lonely in older age. We believe that loneliness is not inevitable. People of all ages need connections that matter. Research shows that the effect of loneliness on health is similar to high blood pressure or obesity. In fact, it’s as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is cutting lives short and the problem is growing.”
After Joe finished the experiment, he went to meet his 84-year-old neighbor Barry, who’s been alone ever since his wife Christine suddenly died back in 2015.
“Loneliness is like grief; it’s suffocating,” Barry said. “After my beloved wife Christine suddenly died, I felt only half alive. I felt paralyzed by loneliness.”
“By talking more about it, we can break down the stigma that prevents many older people from being open about loneliness,” he continued.
“The human need for friendship and support does not go away with age; it actually increases. Whether we are 24 or 84, we all need connections that matter.”
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