FLTIMES - Jan 9 - Meeting new friends - and then maintaining those friendships as a busy adult - is not a problem unique to younger generations, says Miriam Kirmayer, a therapist and friendship researcher at McGill University. It's something most adults experience after college. Social media allows users to keep in touch with friends and family without ever picking up the phone. A new study conducted by UC San Diego researchers, found that 3 out of 4 Americans experience "moderate to high levels of loneliness." Harvard psychology professor Matthew Lieberman says our need to connect with other humans is even more fundamental than our need for food or shelter. New York City-based Cuddlist sends out "professional cuddlers" to hold lonely people in a nonsexual way for $80 an hour. Then there's HearMe.app, which allows users to share their thoughts with an attentive stranger for $10 a week. These apps treat symptoms of loneliness, but there's a wave of tech companies attempting to treat loneliness at its core - by helping people make real in-person connections. But the graveyard for meetup and friendship apps is depressingly expansive. Tinder launched a friendship feature in 2016 called Tinder Social, which allowed users to organize group meetups with strangers. A year later, that feature was disabled. Bumble, also launched its friendship feature Bumble BFF in 2016. However, the company was not willing to share numbers on how many of its users signed up. Despite the challenges, new players keep diving in. When it comes to friend-making apps, there's Hey! VINA for women, Atleto for sports lovers, Meet My Dog for animal lovers, and Cliq, We3, and Squad for those looking to meet up in groups. Frendli, DoWhop, and Beekn are all trying to get people out in the real world to make new friends.