I've long been a fan of John Taylor Gatto. He talks a lot about the education system, but also about what he calls networks vs. communities.
And why does society now gravitate toward networks instead of community? I think Dan Gilbert has the answer there: we avoid commitment, even though it makes us less happy. And it does so in general, not just in the network/community sense.
I'm hopeful that society will learn from this and develop healthy ways of accepting commitment without discarding flexibility and choice. But I'm not sure that Gatto's communities will re-emerge.
Maybe there's something new that we'll stumble upon that will help us feel less lonely. I hope so, because I think the lack of it is corrosive.