Editor's Note: The Information Age has transformed society, but not always for the better. More people are forgoing face-to-face communication in favor of e-mails, text messaging and other forms of communication technology that are chipping away at our basic human need for personal interaction, or so says a study published in the American Sociological Review

. The result: a trend toward disconnecting from friends and family and increasing social isolation. In light of the recent study, Beliefnet asked its users to share ways they have overcome social isolation and loneliness.


When I slow down and meditate, I have a great sense of well-being and I feel connected. Also, being a sincere listener and very open with people creates a deeper connection in which there is no loneliness.
--Scott, Camarillo, Cal.

Constant prayer and asking the Holy Spirit to fill me is my answer. I have found that through daily prayers said before I get out of bed, asking for strength, health and a happy spirit, help me to start the day out right. I read Beliefnet everyday. I read my Bible, and other reading material that guides me through the day as well.
--Penny, Englewood, Fla.

First I meditate by visualizing a familiar, imagined place. Then I listen and end with a prayer. Towards the end of the meditation, I think of all the people who are also experiencing what I am, and I unite with them, sending them peace and confirming that I am not alone.
--Adele, Paradise, Cal.

Cell phones are everywhere. Everywhere you go people are talking on cell phones while driving, eating, and even while in public bathroom stalls. Prayer is the only communication that should require that much attention. Can you imagine how much more peaceful the world would be if people spent more time talking to their Creator/God rather than talking on cell phones?  Try prayer…it works!
--Gwendolyn, Upper Marlboro, Md.

Welcome the Loneliness

Sometimes it might be wiser to stop "fighting it." Loneliness can be a call for us to go inward and find that part of ourselves that we have ignored for too long. Like the symptom of an illness, it tries to get our attention by making us feel uncomfortable. When we find, empower, and welcome the spirit within us it becomes impossible to be lonely.
--Duane, Corpus Christi, Tex.

Say it out loud: “I am lonely." Ironically, speaking the forbidden words can deepen relationships and expose the wealth of support already available to you. The shame of being lonely--the stereotypical image of an outcast who has done something to create his or her lonely state--is so much more painful than the simple human unavoidable truth that you, like countless people before you, are lonely. It passes. It is survivable. It even gifts you with the ability to see loneliness in others and reach out to them. Choose your audience wisely and then speak the truth. Believe me, they have been lonely too.
--Ti, Winston-Salem, N.C.

My suggestion for loneliness is just to accept that it will be a part of your life young or old. It is no respecter of age. When you encounter it, look at it as an opportunity to grow. To learn to do something to fill the spaces you find in your life. Do something you have always wanted to do, go somewhere you always wanted to go. Don't say, “Well, I don't have the money." There are ways to find that pathway of life which leads to fulfillment in a different way. What loneliness brings is a change of thinking from the head to the heart.
--Vickie, Albion, R.I.

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