Half of 20,000 American adults said that they consider themselves lonely, according to a survey study done by Global Health Researchers at Cigna.
The study surveyed Americans of all ages ranging from Generation Z through the Greatest Generation. The research found that the younger generations are lonelier than older Americans, and Gen Z (adults aged 18-22) are the loneliest of all.
“I find that to be mind boggling, it kinda seems like the opposite of what you think the situation would be,” said Jaylen Moore, 22, a junior at the University of Memphis. “But I can see how those statistics are still true.”
The research also identified that 27 percent of Americans felt like there was no one who truly understood them.
“I felt like nobody understood me or just not feeling seen,” said Sharice Delaney, 21, a senior at the University of Memphis.
Delaney said even when she was around friends and family, it felt like she was still alone. In the 21st century social media has allowed communication to become instant and has provided plenty of resources for meeting new people. Nevertheless, research still says high social media usage increases chances of loneliness among young adults.
“Social media is Satan in a-lotta ways, because people start to compare themselves to others,” said Frank Hughes, 24, psychology major at the University of Memphis. “Social media can present such a false sense of reality.”
Madison Ingram, 19, psychology major at the University of Memphis, said having strictly online relationships is dangerous now-a-days because the fear of sex trafficking and people lying about their identities.
The study also emphasizes the importance of having community and how close relationships can work to decrease loneliness because of the social nature humans have.
Delaney said there is a difference between friends and associates. Friends are the ones you build intimate relations with.
“Those friends are definitely people that I talk to on a daily basis and have long conversations with,” Moore said,
Global Health Research at Cigna concluded by saying getting the right balance of sleep, work, personal time, social and physical time is connected to lowering loneliness.
Ingram said to the people currently experiencing loneliness, “Hey, you can do this. It just takes a hint of faith.”