Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If nobody likes me, I'll die?!

Social isolation—the unrecognized killer: Consumer Reports Health Blog

Whoa. It's like they know me or something.

Two things I find amusing, in a not-really-funny kind of way, about this article. One, the old "correlation is not causation" trope: people who are determined to be socially isolated by researchers have shorter life spans. OK. But is there some other unidentified factor at work? Like, oh let's say, depression?
Second, the suggestion that if you're socially isolated, then the obvious solution is to... um... not be socially isolated anymore! That's on the order of helpfulness of telling the obese to lose weight, or the chronically depressed to cheer up. Except it's even better, because the socially isolated need other people to cooperate in un-isolating them. So telling me to go out and make friends only prompts me to answer, "Oh, if only it were that easy."

So, hey, all of you un-isolated people out there! Yes, you with the healthy support system--family, friends, all that jazz. You know that weird person? The one who makes you kind of uncomfortable and isn't really fun to be around? Yes, the one without any friends. How about you run right out and be friends with them? You might just save their life!
Yep, you do that.

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