02-01-24: Social Media, Isolation, Loneliness and Their Impacts on Our Community

February 01, 2024 at 7:30 am

At Tower Club One Financial Plaza, 28th floor 100 S.E. Third Ave. Fort Lauderdale

Social Media, Isolation, Loneliness and Their Impacts on Our Community

The development of smart phones, tablets, and advances in technology of communication apps have enabled us to be more digitally connected than ever before. Simultaneously, we are becoming devoid of physical human interactions and socialization in the physical, emotional, and spiritual sense. The statistics are grim – three out of ten adults consider themselves lonely. 80% of Gen Z, 71% of Millennials, and 50% of Boomers; men more than women. Our youth are more reliant on digital technology than any that came before. Prolonged isolation and loneliness can lead to physical and mental health problems, shorten life expectancy, and have unintended economic impact.

What is happening to our ability to meet and engage people? To the process to “get to know someone” in a way that produces lasting, caring friendships, and business relationships? Why did we let our “virtual” life displace our ability to share our “real” life situations of happiness, grief, celebration, and commerce? Sometime during our lifetime, the number of ’thumbs-up likes’ we get on a social media post of what we ate for breakfast has replaced getting (or giving) someone a pat on the back for a job well done.

This Forum hopes to explore some causes, effects, and measures to counteract the forces that produce modern-day isolation.

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone…” Joni Mitchell

Charlotte Mather-Taylor

Chief Executive Officer, Area Agency On Aging Of Broward County

Dr. Steven Ronik

Chief Executive Officer, Henderson Behavioral Health

Dr. Michael Maniaci

Associate Professor Of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University

Kristian A. White

MHA, Vice President Of Development, Gildas Club South Florid (Moderator)

Thank you to our Sponsor!


Charlotte Mather-Taylor is the Chief Executive Officer of the Area Agency on Aging of Broward County. As CEO, Ms. Mather-Taylor oversees the nonprofit umbrella organization charged with planning, coordinating, monitoring, providing, and funding programs designed to meet the needs of almost half a million Broward County senior residents.

In addition, she is the Vice Chair of the Center for Workforce Inclusion, a national board focused on employment for underserved, low-income seniors; Vice Chair of the Florida Area Agency on Aging State Association; Chair of the Florida Association of Area Agencies on Aging Technology Committee; a member of the USAging Technology Task Force; and a member of the State Navigating Aging Needs Board.

Charlotte Mather-Taylor

Dr. Steven Ronik

Dr. Steven Ronik is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Henderson Behavioral Health. Henderson is a nationally recognized behavioral health system, known for its innovative and leading evidence-based clinical services. Prior to his current role, Dr. Ronik held several leadership positions at the Zucker/Hillside Hospital at Northwell Health in New York City. Zucker/Hillside is a NIMH research center for Schizophrenia and one of the nation’s leading treatment and research behavioral healthcare systems.

Dr. Ronik has served as Chairperson for the Florida Behavioral Health Association and presently serves on its executive committee—FBHA is the leading trade association for behavioral healthcare organizations in Florida. He also serves on the board of Mental Health Corporations of America, and has been a board member for the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, representing eight southeastern States. Dr. Ronik has been recognized for his leadership with numerous awards, including the Ultimate CEO Award from the South Florida Business Journal, the EPIC Award from Mental Health America of Southeast Florida, Advocate of the Year Award from Broward County, and the Time Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Dr. Michael Maniaci is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. He earned his Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology with a certificate in Quantitative Methods from the University of Rochester. His research focuses on interpersonal attraction and close relationships.

Dr. Michael Maniaci

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