Lost Connections – Johann Hari

Lost Connections – Johann Hari

In this book, Johann Hari goes in search of the answers to help him understand more about the depression that surfaced in his teens and became a big part of his life.

His passion for investigating and writing on various subjects seems to come from a deep desire to find specific answers to deeply personal questions shared by many of us in the West. 

In this book Johann talks to many experts around the world to uncover what is driving the majority of the depression epidemic, how medication is being used to try to solve the personal and social issues that are endemic, and what we can do as individuals to reverse this trend.

The title of the book is a clue into what the cause and potential solution are for the state of depression amongst many in the West.

The overriding principle is that our individualistic life focus has resulted in our pursuit of independence from the group and the severing of ties to our communities that ground us in who we are as part of a group. 

Although we are searching for and think we have found connections in online groups and friends, these online shallow connections cannot replace the deeper offline connections that are essential to our human grounding. 

In the West, moving away from where we grew up is not uncommon. We go away to Uni. We move towns/counties/countries with a new job, for a partner, or in search of a new lifestyle. 

Each new move is a separation from established connections towards new connections. With limited opportunities to build or sustain offline connections wherever we go, many turn online to find substitute connections. 

Although this book is about ‘Uncovering the real causes of depression – and the unexpected solutions’, the premise of the book is true for many who turn to online apps, games, gambling, porn and social media tools. There is a direct link between spending time online and anxiety/depression. 

The solutions Johann provides are, therefore, not just for those who struggle with depression, but for those who find themselves spending more time online than they feel they ought to and need to find a way back to building better, deeper, more real connections with others. 

You can find out more about his book Stolen Focus including some additional notes and snippets to his interviews on the Stolen Focus website

About Johann Hari:

Johann Hari is a journalist and author. You can read more about him on his official website