America was founded by people escaping European norms, like government control of religion and economies. Such culturally inherited individualism has served us well but government is now claiming that loneliness may be a problem. 

Not a problem like California manufactures with its claims about 'toxic stress' but because people are a lot more mobile. Fewer work in trades so they may not stay close to home, they go where lifestyles and jobs are, at least until they decide they want to buy a house.

A new paper contends it may be wise to get a little more European, forget meritocracy, and let elites perpetuate success generationally in the interests of better mental health. Because it's psychology is it surveys, not science, and therefore may not have any relevance to you individually, but if you are a social person and want to avoid loneliness they recommend: exercise, which is basically the recommendation for everything in 'wellness' tribes, including mental health issues; volunteer; go to cultural events, though walking up to strangers at those is as psychologically thirst trap in Europe as it is in the US; get to know your neighbors. The last one seems obvious enough; my mother had friends everywhere she went because she got to know neighbors but in apartment buildings that can be a challenge.

Does any of this really hold up? Like many things, only if you have the wealth. How much does Europe really care about older people? Very little. During a hot summer 20 years ago when young French people were busy protesting to support a Baathist dictator(1) and whine about America, they were fine letting their elderly, who could not afford electricity to cool their homes, die. Some 12,000 of them.

So don't do anything Europe does, but getting to know your neighbors and exercising can't hurt.


(1) Where France was profiting from an embargo and their intelligence agency told our CIA the dictator was building 'weapons of mass destruction', as did Germany. One error mideast dictators make, as did French and Germans in this case, is assuming one American is the same as any other. Whereas President Clinton did rush to make concessions when told violence might happen - it's why when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time under his watch terrorists immediately planned something better, which resulted in September 11, 2001 - the French and Germans hinting that Saddam Hussein was trying to make a nuclear bomb did not cause President Bush to offer new lucrative concessions that Iraq and key trade partners France and Germany wanted, he invaded.