“Having come out of months and months starved of human connection… our need and desire and demand for shared, in-person experience with others is going to really rise.”
This is one of the many true remarks Noreena Hertz makes, in speaking with producer Ken Gordon, on the latest episode of The Resonance Test.
Hertz, a British economist and bestselling author of The Lonely Century: How to Restore Human Connection in a World That’s Pulling Apart, effortlessly spins out stories and data and insights about the job loneliness is doing on us.
In her book Hertz writes: “A lonely body is not a healthy one” and in conversation she adds: “When we’re lonely our blood pressure goes up. Our heart rate goes up. Our levels of cortisol, our stress levels in our body, go up. All of these essentially signaling to our body: ‘Stop being lonely. Go and find people to hunt and gather with. Go and find your tribe.’”
But loneliness isn’t merely bad for our health; it’s bad for business. “Lonely workers are less productive, less motivated, less efficient, more likely to quit a company than workers who are not,” says Hertz.
Hertz draws our attention to what she calls the loneliness economy and says it can be a win-win for us all: “If you can sell people authentic communities that speak to their needs to connect with others, you’re gonna have a significant customer base.”
Ultimately, Hertz hopes we will use our experience as lonely people to create a more relational form of capitalism. Let’s hope she gets many readers. Humanity can use the help.
Host: Kenji Ross
Engineer: Kyp Pilalas
Producer: Ken Gordon