Instagram pictures with multiple filters, Facebook posts with happy smiles, Twitter status update with #Bestlife and a wide display rather show-off of owned assets like gadgets, cars, branded clothes and shoes. Well, the facade behind the pretentious world has finally collapsed, revealing that millennials are the loneliest generation that ever existed in mankind.
According to a recent study by YouGov, more than 30% millennials admitted to always or often feeling lonely as compared to Gen X and baby boomers. The millennials also topped the lists of having zero acquaintances, with nearly 25% and 22% admitting to having no friends.
The study covered over 1,200 adults aged 18 and over in the US. It further revealed that 27% respondents have no close friends, while 30% said that they never had best friends.
But who are the millennials?
This is the term that most people recognize with the avocado on toast and “snowflake” culture. They are born between 1980 or the months before to the mid-1990s or early 2000s.
Young people increasingly rely on social media for their interactions. However, studies suggest that online interactions fundamentally cannot make up for the companionship that humans need or desire for.
Ironically, the most Internet-addicted generation, a generation that has apps for pretty much everything, right from groceries to dating is the loneliest.
It clearly proves the fact that social media can be used to aid the process of alleviating loneliness altogether, by acting as a simple platform used to connect people to one another. It is then down to the users to police their own interactions with the platform in such a way that does not cross their personal boundaries.
According to a meta-analysis, co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, loneliness heightens health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having alcohol use disorder. The expert has also found that loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health.
The red flags don’t stop there. Some researchers suggest loneliness may actually be contagious. In a 10-year study, researchers examined how loneliness spreads in social networks. The results indicated that people close to someone experiencing loneliness were 52% more likely to become lonely as well.
With the increased technology development, people love spending more time in front of the flashy screens rather than coming out in the real world. The study is an eye-opener for everyone out there whose screen time is more than the time they’ve spent in introspection or with their loved ones.