“I heard my friends talking – a girl from my college had hanged herself. “Nobody likes me,” she wrote in her suicide letter, I read in the news the next day. That kept me uneasy for a day or two.”
Now, I don’t say that my generation is a distinctive case, still, it appears to be lonelier than the earlier generations.
The causes for this could be many, such as technological advancement, decreased social interactions, or even some odd reasons that aren’t apparent right now.
In fact, a recent research has shown that the young people aged between 16-24 years feel the loneliest, which is said to be affecting their health even more than smoking or obesity can.
This article on Psychology Today claims that there are two major reasons why loneliness is prevalent among millennials: the first one is that loneliness is contagious, while the second one is the overdependence on social media for human interaction.
Another article in The Independent says that millennials are two times more likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
This is worrisome.
Being a millennial myself, I’ve failed at comprehending the occurring changes – but I can’t deny that loneliness in my generation is a serious problem.
Do I feel the same way? Yes, to be honest, although I wouldn’t go into the details of everything. I also have some friends who feel the same way. Hence, I’ve been curious about the causes and any possible solutions to this problems.
For now, I’m keeping this post limited to the main reasons which I feel are responsible for the lingering loneliness amongst millennials.
Here are the reasons why millennials are lonelier than ever
- No roots. Several millennials aren’t wholly familiar with their cultural background and origins, which makes them question their overall identity.
- Lack of attention. It could be neglect from parents, reduced attention from peers, or absence of the care responsible for nurturing self-esteem during early childhood.
- Peer-pressure. They’re forced to abide by YOLO, admit having FOMO, and hence pretend to have interesting lives to fit into the social context. Eventually, it hurts.
- Social validation. It could be due to the changed cultural behavior. Instead of concentrating on a handful of meaningful relationships, millennials focus on pleasing everyone.
- Reduced human interaction. We got mobile phones and social media apps that replaced the ‘flesh and blood’ conversations. Though, it takes a toll.
- Discomfort being alone. Another valid reason is a constant search for a company, as solitude becomes uncomfortable for some. When it can’t be avoided, it becomes bothersome.
- Blurred meaning of life. It’s uncool to be sad or hopeless. They wish to stay in a blissful state in every second, which is barely possible and hence leads to disappointment.
- Lack of social skills. Relying too much on technology ruined our social communication skills somehow, and it shows every now and then through our interactions.
- Lack of other activities. Such as having hobbies or productive chores which can occupy your time and teach you something. Even cleaning or cooking can be useful.
- False isolation. On social media, everyone seems happy and living to the fullest, which creates an illusion that you’re alone and left-out. Though, the truth is far away from this assumption.
Now that I’ve pointed out a bunch of reasons why millennials are suffering from loneliness, it doesn’t make sense to quit the topic without suggesting a few remedies.
Here are a couple of steps you can take to overcome your loneliness and feel alright again (perhaps, you already know them).
- Engage in different activities
- Feel alright being alone
- Reduce the phone usage
- Take a break from social media
- Stay with a couple of real friends
- Initiate new conversations
- Stop pleasing everyone
- Call old friends
- Study your restlessness
- Get outside more often
Sure, there are other ways as well – but there’s no panacea for everything. So simply listen to intuition and find what works for you. And just in case you’ve been feeling lonely lately and need a friend to talk to, feel free to contact me any day.