All the followers, none of the friends.
Social media-savvy millennials may make up the loneliest generation in America, according to a new survey by market research firm YouGov.
The poll of 1,254 adults aged 18 and older found that 27 percent of millennials have no close friends, 25 percent have no “acquaintances” and 22 percent — or 1 in 5 — have no buddies at all. This compares with only 9 percent of Baby Boomers and 15 percent of Gen Xers who reported having zero chums.
A third of the 20- and 30-somethings also reported feeling lonely often or always, compared with 20 percent of Gen Xers and 15 percent of boomers. (Sext-happy Gen Z was not included in the survey results, nor was the older Silent Generation.)
On the bright side, close to half — 49 percent — of millennials said they had one to four “close friends” and 70 percent said they had at least one “best friend.” Although, based on the other stats, that best friend is possibly their only friend.
Also, 38 percent of millennials reported having made a new friend in the last six months. The most common place for Americans to make friends? High school, according to 87 percent of respondents.
The high rate of loneliness in young people may be because many find it tough to find companions: According to the survey, a third of Americans feel making friends is difficult. For 53 percent, it’s because they’re shy. Another 27 percent claim it’s because they “don’t feel like they need friends.”
The survey didn’t dig much further than the numbers, but writers reference a December study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology which links social media and a lower quality of life. “Here’s the bottom line: Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness,” says study author Melissa Hunt.