California; Hayward — Hinge, the dating app, is unveiling a groundbreaking social impact initiative, One More Hour, aimed at mobilizing Gen Z to increase in-person connections and combat the growing loneliness epidemic. The initiative kicks off with a substantial $1 million fund earmarked for addressing the decline in face-to-face interactions among young adults.
According to PR Newswire, statistics show that compared to two decades ago, today's youth experiences a staggering 1,000 fewer hours of in-person connection annually, a trend exacerbated by the lack of accessible third spaces.
Scheduled to launch this month, One More Hour will allocate individual grants, with amounts reaching up to $25,000, to selected social groups in key cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City. These groups are at the forefront of providing Gen Z with affordable, regular, and novel opportunities for in-person interactions. Hinge is collaborating with DoSomething Strategic and the Foundation for Social Connection to establish impact benchmarks for the program and identify deserving organizations. To ensure a youth-centric perspective, a panel of Gen Z judges will play a pivotal role in selecting the final grant recipients.
Josh Penny, Director of Social Impact at Hinge, emphasized the importance of facilitating more in-person connections, acknowledging the difficulty in translating this intention into action. Penny said, "Social clubs and groups offer young adults the chance to plug into recurring moments of connection and to find community along the way. With One More Hour's new fund, we simply want to make these important resources more accessible."
Hinge's commitment to combating loneliness extends beyond this initiative. This year, Hinge joined the Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness, advocating for policies and initiatives to reduce loneliness. The company also supports the Crisis Text Line in expanding resources on loneliness, ensuring young adults can access support effectively. Recently, Hinge collaborated with the Foundation for Social Connection to develop a Distraction-Free Dating Guide and worked closely with the Surgeon General to address loneliness among daters during the pandemic.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods