If you were to believe the “back in my day” stories of our older generations, then you’ll see it clear that us millennials haven’t been having the best time of our lives. And that’s because we became a crop of post-recession time, we were in a landscape that was social-media saturated. And let’s not forget our constant grappling with employment instability and poor housing opportunities. Also, the millennials are the generation who are, what can we say, well, a messed up blend of hyper-exposure as well as social isolation, all thanks to the internet. So, if you belong to the millennial clan, have you ever asked yourself —“Why on earth do I feel so lonely so often?” Most of your answers are going to be yes as millennials are considered the loneliest of all the generations out there. And nope, we’re not just saying this out of the blue or because we feel lonely too; we’re saying this because even the research says so.
There’s a recent survey report from YouGov that points out how more than a quarter of the millennials worldwide cannot even name a single friend. They also find themselves in the nest of loneliness way too often in their lives (1). Even a study from the Intergenerational Foundation which compared the well-being of three generations reported that it was this generation of millennials that was the unhappier and loneliest (2). They reported a lower sense of well-being in finances, health, and relationships. This survey was conducted amongst the age group of 20-29 in the years 1995, 2005, and 2015. Sadly, the result of such a thoughtful survey had to be negative on us!
What bothered us more is that okay, we are lonely, but why are we so in the first place? What is it around us that is making us fall prey to loneliness? Let’s dig into this a little more. Read on.
Do We Have To Blame Social Media For This?
Ask anybody of this generation as to how many friends they have; they’ll answer 100,200,500, and even 1000. And from where did they make so many friends? Courtesy: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other social media site. Sure, we do have so many friends and we can boast about the same. But how many of your friends are sitting on a sofa with you and discussing relationships, careers, and life problems? None! All those friends on facebook who react a heart on every post or story you put up necessarily aren’t the ones who’d turn to you when you’re in crisis. As much as the number of people in your friends circle has seen an increase, the quality of those friendships has diluted rapidly; Thanks to social media! The best friends forever squad that you might have had in your 20s might have slowly drifted apart over the years because you or let’s say we gave much importance to social media. So, remember peeps, always pay attention to real friendships than the virtual ones. It’s going to keep your life happier and less lonely.
Do We Blame The Stagnant Economic State For This?
On the financial front, another study has shown how the economic well-being of the millennials has been stagnant, therefore, resulting in loneliness (3). The millennials suffered from loneliness as they saw no improvement in their employment opportunities, especially the ones who had just started their careers between 2005 and 2015. There was a dearth of good jobs back then which resulted in every two out of five non-graduate jobs being filled by overqualified graduates. They slogged and worked for something that they never wanted to get into. But the financial instability left them with no choice. Poor pay never has let nearly a third of this generation to own their own house. All of this only contributed to this generation’s mental instability and made them a victim of loneliness.
Do We Blame The Drop In The Sense Of Belonging For This?
The Intergenerational Foundation shows that since 2005 there has been a drop of 32 percent in the feeling of well-being among the millennials. This is because the millennials have stopped volunteering for social work, they don’t have an interest in politics, they don’t want to vote, they don’t want to observe or follow any religion. Between 1995-2005, people were never serious about their health either. They’d eat and drink whatever they got their hands on. And when social media came into their lives, the concept of staying healthy took a big ‘U’ turn. Studies have been proving how millennials have a mind of their own which is why they fall into the realms of depression so easily. They have developed anxiety over body image, especially over the years. They even end up starving to look good and fall into that trend of a perfect body image.
These reports and studies aren’t the most positive things to hear about our generation. But the good side of getting to know these problems is that now you’re aware of your feelings. And if you ever feel anxious, depressed, or you’re struggling with your body image, then, you need to open your heart out to your friends, family or seek the help of a professional psychologist. Doing so will help you, and us, the millennials to be less lonely and much happier in our lives.
What do you think about millennials being the loneliest generation? Let us know in the comments below.
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