According to a recent study by YouGov, 30 per cent of millennials say they always or often feel lonely, a higher percentage than their generation X (20 per cent) and baby boomer (15 per cent) counterparts.
The poll asked 1,254 participants over the age of 18 to complete a survey about their friendships and loneliness. Millennials were most likely to declare having zero acquaintances (25 per cent) or friends (22 per cent), although more said they had one to four close (49 per cent) and best (64 per cent) friends.
When looking at all generations, shyness was the most common reason participants found it difficult to make friends, while 27 per cent said they don’t feel like they need friends.
The study doesn’t look into why millennials feel so lonely, though it does reference earlier studies which – of course – pinpoint social media and ‘internet addiction’ as the main reasons. A report conducted last year refuted this idea, suggesting that although it may be a factor, social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness.
It seems more likely that loneliness is linked to the increasingly isolating policies of our fucked up governments – a prediction obviously staunchly denied by the Tories’ Minister for Loneliness. With the UK’s mental health system broken, solutions like friendship apps are on the rise, proving that social media can be a source for good as well as evil.
Without exploring the reasons behind millennials’ loneliness, or offering a potential resolution, we can’t really draw much from YouGov’s study, except to be told – yet again – that yes, we do indeed have it rough.