Many of us are increasingly lonely souls, yearning for companionship. The feeling, over a period of time, creates social isolation. When there is sisterhood, you are never alone. Sisterhood is the key to overcoming social isolation, particularly for marginalized women and those fighting for social change through activism.
“So many of us, across diverse swathes of society, know how it feels to be constantly tethered to technology yet increasingly untethered from other people. Social isolation is now experienced as the new normal.” David T. Hsu
According to David T. Hsu, over 40% of adults in America report feeling lonely on a regular basis. As more households are becoming single-member dwellings, we are increasingly being disconnected from each other. More than just a feeling, social isolation, being “untethered” has greater consequences than many of us realize.
Specifically, Hsu argues that being social isolated affects our: 1) health, 2) income, and 3) our politics. The need to bond with others extends well beyond what we used to think was a superficial desire to make new friends and have fun.
Hsu’s research suggests that the search for sisterhood is also a mechanism for survival.
It is not an exaggeration to state that sisterhood can make an important difference between life and death. Lack of social contact weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to stress, disease, and maladaptive behaviors such as sleep deprivation, binge eating, substance abuse, and addiction. It is also a risk factor for cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, depression, and suicide.
With sisterhood in the workplace, women collectively earn more. Conversely, lack of social contacts limits your upward mobility. Compounding that, residential segregation leads to poverty traps that are extremely difficult to overcome.
Our governing bodies cannot exist in a bubble. With social isolation, groups become more polarized by their differences, existing on two opposite sides of the political spectrum. This hinders their ability to communicate and negotiate for the greater good.
Human beings are social creatures and women thrive in environments in which we support each other. Social media won’t save you. Therefore, we need to create meaningful social opportunities, safe spaces for belonging. Sisterhood Agenda global partners are doing this important work in different communities all over the world. They are listed in Sisterhood Agenda’s Global Sisterhood Directory, a valuable sisterhood resource.
Our relationships must include consistent, long-term and meaningful interactions to be impactful. Otherwise, it creates a craving for more.
“Social interactions that are too fragmented, infrequent, or fleeting create a thirst for belonging.” David T. Hsu
With our diverse sisterhood, we have the power to contribute to a strong, resilient, and healthy society.