Dear Dr. Laura,
I thought you might be interested in taking a look at this article about the health risks of loneliness. The article is brief, informative and it has links to scientific research which are also very helpful. In summary, the article states loneliness presents a greater public health risk than obesity AND smoking.
Loneliness Is Deadly
Loneliness is not a condition most people like to own up to because, socially it's synonymous with "pathetic", yet it is a growing problem across all demographics, particularly among seniors. And, as you have pointed out on your show, social networking is doing more to isolate younger generations rather than bring people together.
Occasionally, one of your callers admits they are lonely and you always say "loneliness is a voluntary condition". I couldn't agree more. I've been working very hard to put myself out into the community after my divorce. It takes time, persistence and courage to rebuild a quality social network, but it is worth the effort. It's much easier to slip into the comfort zone of solitude, but doing so is hazardous to one's mental and physical health.
Your show has done so much to empower me and other listeners with the tools to build a better life. If you're ever searching for an opening topic for your show, perhaps this would be a good one. I can't think of a better qualified person to shed light on the issue and provide the kick in the pants to help people help themselves.
Thank you for doing what you do.