Under the Hood

What’s Causing Millennials To Always Feel Lonely?

In a recent survey conducted by YouGov, it is revealed that the 21st century young adults are the loneliest generation surpassing Generation X and Baby Boomers. The report also found that 30 percent of the Millennials always feel lonely.

About one out of five Millennials say they don’t have friends, 27 percent don’t have close friends and 30 percent don’t have a best friend. These numbers are significantly greater compared to other generations examined. And with the advent of social media, these feelings were only intensified.

A study in 2018 from the University of Pennsylvania found an association between the time used up on social media and low well-being among these people aged between 23 to 38. According to Melissa Hunt, the lead researcher of the said study, using social media less than one usually does shows a significant decline in feelings of depression and loneliness.

John Cacioppo studied loneliness for more than 20 years and he said that the particular feeling is perceived social isolation or the disparity between what one desires from social interactions and one’s conception of those relationships.

Internal effects like the thoughts and feelings triggered by social media can also be a factor that could lead to perceived isolation, Lisa Firestone PhD, clinical psychologist and Director of Research and Education for the Glendon Association, wrote in Psychology Today.

Firestone noted that the emergence of technology has created a breeding ground for these destructive thoughts.

While people have a side of their personality being goal-directed, they also have this vicious anti-self, she continued. “Critical inner voice” is what Firestone's father, Dr. Robert Firestone, would refer the internal enemy to, which was probably created by past negative life experiences.

The critical inner voice of people scheme to keep them from social relationships and create a feeling of low well-being. Only challenging this inner critic and not letting it get the best of you can be the effective way to overcome feelings of loneliness and become stronger.

Furthermore, Firestone encourages people to learn how to identify their defenses and take certain steps to overcome this internal enemy as she explained in her webinar "A Way Out Of Loneliness."

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