It is a common perception that loneliness hits at a certain age. That when you reach a stage in life, having lived most of it, you begin to feel desolate. But, if recent studies and behavioural patterns are to be believed, loneliness affects everyone regardless of their age and, if anything, it is the younger generation that is feeling more isolated these days.
According to a survey conducted by a British international internet-based market research firm YouGov, of more than 2,000 UK adults, almost 31 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds admitted feeling lonely often or all the time, compared to the 17 per cent of 55-plus respondents who said they felt the same. The survey also disclosed that while 24 per cent of young people said they have suffered from loneliness at some stage, seven per cent people said they felt miserable every day. Interestingly, only two per cent people belonging to the older generation said they felt lonely all of the time.
Throwing light on the findings, YouGov said that this could be because of the many different challenges that young people face for the very first time, including moving away from a familiar environment in search of a new home, getting a new job, etc. Also, according to the survey, 46 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds find it difficult to make new friends, while, in comparison, 28 per cent of older participants feel the same.
Making friends and forging new relationships is a huge part of staying happy and mentally healthy. So, if there is something that is stopping people from making these alliances and socializing, it has to be looked into. According to the survey, when asked why they could not make new friends, 80 per cent of young participants responded by saying that shyness holds them back, as against 43 per cent of 55-plus participants.
Additionally, around 32 per cent of young adults admitted that not having the type of hobbies and interests with which to forge new friendships was also a roadblock.