Locals was born on the strong belief that social connections matter directly for our health and happiness.
Locals has become a solution to one of the biggest yet largely overlooked and stigmatised problems of our times.
The loneliness pandemic
In the last few decades with the last two years of social isolation, the gap between actual and desired social relationships has grown tremendously, increasing one of the greatest problems in modern-day society: loneliness.
Loneliness contributes negatively to our physical and emotional well-being. Researchers have found that loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day⁽¹⁾ and compared with well-known risk factors such as obesity, diabetes stage 2; chronic loneliness is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Lonely people have a 26% higher risk of dying prematurely than those with healthy social relationships⁽²⁾.
Loneliness is the number one fear of young people today - ranking ahead of losing a home or a job. 42% of Millennial women are more afraid of loneliness than a cancer diagnosis⁽³⁾.
Among 18-34-year-olds, 42% say they feel lonely at least a few times a week⁽⁴⁾. And the fact of being in relationships or in marriage does not impact this correlation. People even in strong and stable relationships still often feel lonely.
Loneliness leads to increased use of health services and impacts negatively on the economy by decreasing employees and professionals' health.
Friends you’ve yet to meet
So what is loneliness and how can this problem be solved?
We tend to believe (and scientists support us) that loneliness is not a disease, virus or mental issue. The good news is that loneliness is more like a hunger — a basic human need that should not be overlooked, stigmatised or tabooed. When you feel hungry, you eat. When you feel lonely - you simply meet new people.
The pandemic and isolation have tremendously contributed to the exacerbation of the loneliness problem. We all became introverts. We need to learn how to meet new people and make meaningful connections from scratch.
Locals.org helps people to create mutual context and share their passions offline, putting the basis for social interactions able to provide meaning, purpose and value.
Just sex is not sexy
Meet up and dating apps are not able to do that, they are too random and are not able to build meaningful connections, that's why they don't work for most people. The world is full of people not interested in dating but still wanting to meet new people in real life.