Online is the loneliest number

The Loneliness Project gets people to share stories about loneliness online.
Marissa Korda's website explores the loneliness many people feel in our ultra-connected world. (Marissa Korda)
Listen9:53

This segment originally aired in October 2017.


Even though, through technology, we are more connected than ever, there's an epidemic of loneliness in Canada.

Marissa Korda thinks that's something we need to talk about. She believes many of us suffer in silence when it comes to dealing with loneliness.

"We live in a society that really values extroversion, that really doesn't leave a lot of space to ever feel lonely," Marissa said.

She started The Loneliness Project to help create a space for that discussion. It's a website where anyone can share their own experiences with loneliness.

People can submit to the project anonymously. The stories come from the answers to four questions Marissa has posed about loneliness, such as "Tell me the story of the time you felt the most lonely."

Marissa works as a graphic designer in Toronto. The site features nighttime apartment visuals and the murmur of city traffic to create a soothing backdrop for the many touching stories about loneliness.

There's also a section on the site called "Talk to Someone" that lists some crisis hotline numbers.

The project has been shaped by Marissa's own experiences. She describes her first year away at university as one of the hardest of her life because of loneliness.

"That year when I was at school for the first time, and I was really lonely, it was extra hard that I had no one to talk to about it," she told Spark host Nora Young.  

The Loneliness Project is the first chapter of something Marissa calls "An Imperfect Archive of Us."

In the future she hopes to do a guilt project, a failure project, and an insecurity project.

However, Marissa believes loneliness was a good starting point because it's so universal.

"I hear that all the time that people just want to make more friends and broaden their social circle, but just don't know how."

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