Millennials: Connected ONLINE, Lonely IRL.

Known to be the most connected generation, a new study shows that millennials are actually the loneliest generation.

Photo: Tumblr

A study by YouGov found that millennials feel lonely more often than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. YouGov asked over 1, 000 adults aged 18 and over (in the US) to complete a survey assessing friendship and loneliness; the results show that 30 percent of millennials always or often feel lonely. This is significantly higher than its counterparts, Generation X (20 percent) and Baby Boomers (15 percent).

Furthermore, the study revealed that millennials were most likely to report that they have no acquaintances (25 percent) or friends (22 percent). However, a majority of millennials report that they have one to four close friends (49 percent) and at least one best friend (64 percent).

For each generation, shyness is the most common reason participants find it difficult to make new friends, whilst 27 percent felt they don’t need friends. Similarly, 26 percent said they don’t have any hobbies or interests that can facilitate friendships.

Photo: YouGov

Although the YouGov study doesn’t exactly pinpoint why millennials feel so lonely, it references early studies that consider social media and the internet as potential reasons.

A study conducted by psychologist Melissa G. Hunt and her team found a link between social media use and decreased well-being.

“Here’s the bottom line: Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness,” Hunt said.

The flexibility of social media has allowed us, users, to create a persona that is a better version of who we really are. The way we can easily hide behind our online personas and photos, to pretend like we aren’t lonely at the end of the day is an unhealthy habit.

With Instagram crowned as the app with the most negative impact on mental health and well-being, they took countermeasures by removing the number of likes on a post and introducing anti-bullying features to create a safer and less competitive community.

Social media isn’t the big bad wolf that many perceive it to be, in fact, it is helpful in keeping everyone connected and making friends.

According to YouGov’s study, nearly half of the surveyed Millennials have made a new friend in the last six months, with 76 percent saying they managed to make a friend through work or their local community.

Interestingly, six in 10 Americans surveyed said that they’re still close to at least one school friend, while 34 percent are still friends with people they met in college.

Granted social media isn’t the only reason, it certainly does have a large impact on our wellbeing both positively and negatively.

Now, if you’re looking for a sign to take a break from the socials, this is it. We owe it to ourselves.

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