A recent YouGov study found loneliness is a common problem for Millennials. YouGov reports 22 percent of Millennials say they have no friends. One in four Millennials says they have no acquaintances. Thirty percent of Millennials say they don't have a best friend. The study also found thirty percent of Millennials feel lonely always or often.
Older Generations Have More Friends
Sixteen percent of Generation Xers and only nine percent of Baby Boomers reported their number of friends as zero. The YouGov study didn't investigate why Millennials have fewer friends than Generation X or Baby Boomers. Using social media more than older generations could be one reason Millennials are lonelier. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found restricting social media use reduced loneliness.
Loneliness and Health Are Connected
Loneliness increases the risk of many mental and physical health problems. According to former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, loneliness raises your risk of depression, dementia, and heart disease. Also, he says loneliness shortens lifespans more than obesity.
Making Friends Is Possible
In the YouGov study, a significant portion of each generation reported making a new friend in the last six months. Millennials seeking new friends could look for them where others reported making them. According to the YouGov study, many people make friends at work, a house of worship, and in their neighborhood. Parents frequently make friends with other parents at their children's schools or through their children's sporting activities. Other ways for adults to make friends include taking a class to learn a new hobby or getting involved in civic organizations.
For more information about this and related topics, please visit the Mental Health section of our blog.
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