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    Thursday, April 18, 2024

    Preying on ‘all the lonely people’

    It's wonderful that Sen. Murphy has supported a “combat loneliness bill” since Dec. 7, 2003, and wants to tackle the epidemic of loneliness, both within the state and nationwide. Indeed, the Surgeon General's report indicates that loneliness is not just bad for one's mental well-being, but it's also bad for one’s physical health, and even has deleterious effects for the political makeup of Americans at large.

    Murphy's cause is one I can personally support, and the loneliness epidemic has its roots going as far back as 1995, originally observed in an essay called "Bowling Alone: America's Declining Social Capital" by Robert Putnam. One thing I'd like to see addressed on this front is the predatory nature of smartphone apps that ostensibly are made for people to find partners of both the platonic and romantic variety, such as Hinge and Tinder. In practice, many of these apps are owned by the Dallas-based, publicly-traded MatchGroup, whose financial interests are diametrically opposed to any of their users' social goals.

    What's more, is that the company's stock price has plummeted over 65% over the past two years; it would seem that both users and investors alike are heartbroken by MatchGroup. Finding a friend — and perhaps more — should not be a for-profit business that exploits lonely people.

    Max Ian Engel

    East Lyme

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