They may be surrounded by friends (on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Tinder) but the app-based interactions that Millennials love are no replacement for IRL friends. In fact, three in 10 Millennials say they “always or often” feel lonely, according to a poll by YouGov.
They’re a markedly more lonely generation than Gen X or Baby Boomers. While 30% of Millennials say they “always or often” feel lonely, just 20% of Gen X agrees with that statement, and just 15% of Baby Boomers report feeling lonely on that intense level.
Disturbingly, a significant number of Millennials report having no friends or even acquaintances of any type (not even the guy who sells them their coffee every morning?)
Millennials are more likely than older generations to say that they have no acquaintances (25%), no friends (22%), no close friends (27%), and no best friends (30%).
However, they’re not all friendless and alone – 70% of Millennials say they have “at least one” best friend, and nearly half (49%) say they have between one and four close friends.
Considering that the majority of Millennials do have friends, it could be their dependence on social media that is making them feel so lonely – a phenomenon backed up by research.
Hard to make friends
Millennial or not, even regular adults find it difficult to make friends – 31% say it’s hard.
How does one make a friend? Sometimes it seems like they come into your life by accident. And you can always count on the old daily grind to meet someone with something in common: 76% said they’ve met a new friend through work.