One in five millennials says they have no friends.
The results came from one recent survey by marketing firm YouGov.
The answers won’t leave you with a warm, happy feeling.
The survey of 1,254 adults aged 18 and older found that 27 percent of millennials have no “close” friends, while a quarter of respondents in this age bracket said they have no “acquaintances.”
An astounding 22 percent of millennials said they have no friends at all, while about 9 percent of Baby Boomers claimed no pals, and 15 percent of Gen Xers reported having none.
What’s more, 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.
About half said they do have at least one (up to four) close friends and 70 percent said they have one “best friend.”
“Loneliness is a serious issue and it’s important to address it right away,” said Patricia Student, an APRN at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Mass.
There are a few reasons why young adults may be lonely. As a generation, they move more, leaving family and friends behind in search of career opportunities.
Moving to a new place, particularly a large city as millennials often do, can be a time when loneliness emerges. But, Student explains, loneliness doesn’t automatically mean being alone.
In fact, the problem was so alarming that London appointed its first minister for loneliness after a UK-wide survey reported some nine million people suffered from it.
“The problem stems from social connectedness,” Student said. “Humans are social and we need to stay connected and engaged with one another. We need to be connected to something larger than ourselves.”
Many studies have shown the detrimental effects of loneliness. If left unattended it can lead to substance misuse, suicidal tendencies or other health problems.
The good news is that our culture has become keenly aware of the condition. Municipalities generally have resources for residents, such as occasional meet-ups or volunteer opportunities.
“But people have to go out find these resources,” Student said. “The easiest way is to go online. There are opportunities to meet and join groups with a focus on your interests.”
For more information on combating loneliness, speak with your health care provider.