Although it may seem that we are more connected than ever on social media, the actual civic involvement of Americans has fallen drastically. It is something that cannot be reduced to some local, ethnic or income-related cause. Rather it affects everyone and is leading to social unrest, polarization and lack of civility.
Sociologist Robert Putnam in his landmark book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, writes: “The recent declines in all forms of civic engagement are virtually identical everywhere – in cities, big and small, in suburbs, in small towns, and in the countryside. No part of America, from the smallest hamlet on up the scale has been immune from this epidemic. So more must surely be involved than simply urbanization.” (Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 2000, p. 208.)