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A new study finds that young people are really, really lonely

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Are you young and worried about spending all your wages on avocado toast and not investing in property? Well now you’ve got an even bigger problem – crippling loneliness!

A recent study conducted by Cigna, health insurance company in the U.S, found that “post-millennials” – those between the ages of 18 and 22 – were the social group who felt the loneliest. 20,000 people were surveyed, where over half of Generation Z participants identified with 10 of the 11 feelings associated with loneliness, including feeling like people around them are not really with them (69 per cent), feeling shy (69 per cent), as well as feeling like no one really knows them very well (68 per cent).

Both millenials and post-millenials in this study scored higher on the loneliness scale than those of older generations, with students having a higher overall rating than retirees.

The report also found that one of the main reasons for this self-styled loneliness epidemic is the lack of a physical connection, especially between younger generations. Half of the survey’s respondents who never have “in-person interaction” were in poorer health conditions than those who had daily interactions with actual people.

You may be thinking, “this is definitely social media’s fault, right?” But you’d be wrong. The study concludes that, while it is is definitely a factor, social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness. People who didn’t use social media had marks similar to people who said they were heavy users of social media.

Douglas Nemeck, the Chief Medical Officer of the company who ran the survey, remains hopeful by the report’s results.

“We’re motivated by the fact that these results point to the benefits meaningful in-person contact can have on loneliness,” he said. “We are dedicated to providing resources to address the loneliness epidemic.”

Other studies have also previously found that ethnic minorities are more likely to be struggling with loneliness, as are women.

It probably doesn’t help matters that the UK has appointed its first ‘Minister of Loneliness’ too, and she had some bizarre opinions to tell Dazed. 

We’ve also seen the uptake of friendship apps for people, particularly used by young women, in the city. Some of the issues surrounding emotional and mental erosion we’ve seen stem from the ongoing housing and living crisis, as young people are locked out of the housing market and forced into short-term arrangements with rogue landlords

So, to recap; not only are we very poor, we’re also now very lonely, and will probably to continue to be for quite some time. Sorry bout it.