Why American men have no friends with Harvard’s Jacqueline Olds

If you’re reading this and are middle aged (especially a man) you’re depressed and don’t have any friends. That’s right, I’m talking to you and so are big industries who capitalize on your sad state like pharma, shrinks, and the tornado of advertisers who prey on your pleas for help. 

Us middle-aged people are crying out for help, just like our babies who we put in nursery rooms by themselves. By now, our kids have left, our marriage may have left, and all the friends we used to have are on their own little islands, suffering just like us. We’ve all over-declared our independence, our society has built a super complex, reinforcing system around it. 

I’m one of these poor souls, too: a middle aged guy with my wife as my best friend, whose put everything I have into my family and most of those kids are now adults who have moved on and left poor, old me feeling really isolated and lonely. 

To learn more about that, I reached out to Harvard’s Jacqueline Olds, author (along with her husband) of The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century. In our Skype conversation we talk about not only how our society got here, but what we can do about it and where we might be headed. So, if you’re looking to course correct and get yourself out of Funkville, take a listen to Professor Olds and hopefully you find yourself no longer alone in the room, listening to the Titanic soundtrack.  

Music credit: Celine Dion, My Heart Will Go On

Image credit: Lyst