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Does Millennial Loneliness Contribute to Society's Tragedies?

Feature

August 06, 2019

Does Millennial Loneliness Contribute to Society's Tragedies?

“As we grapple with the horror of two mass shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, we can all agree that gun access must change - yet the discussion needs to be broader. Social isolation and loneliness have been reported to be a crisis for the millennial generation,” states Terri Bonoff, CEO of JF&CS of Atlanta.

Most of the perpetrators of these tragic events of mass shootings are young millennials, primarily men. There are many challenges that this age group are dealing with - each possibly contributing to the destructive, emotional outbursts that occur. And one of the biggest challenges is the feelings of loneliness and depression.

Three in 10 Millennials Say They Always or Often Feel Lonely

As reported by YouGov, new data finds that Millennials report feeling lonely much more often than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. While 30 percent of Millennials say they always or often feel lonely, just one in five (20%) members of Generation X says the same. Even fewer Baby Boomers (15%) report feeling lonely with the same frequency.

Shyness and lack of hobbies are cited as some of the reasons why millennials feel lonely and disconnected. Three in 10 (31%) of millennials say that making friends is difficult.

How Social Media Connects Us AND Can Separate Us

We know the addiction to social media both spreads the divisions in our culture and increases the sense of aloneness so many feel. A study from the University of Pennsylvania has shown a ‘causal link between time spent on the platforms and decreased well-being’. Talked about for years but never proven until now, this study shows how use of social media can lead to decreased well-being.

The bottom line of the study, according to Psychologist Melissa G. Hunt is “Using less social media than you normally would lead to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness. These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.”

What Can We Do

Terri Bonoff adds, “When you “see something, say something” is about more than identifying the potential for violence. Look for signs of grief, despair, loneliness and even anger. Be a friend and help them get help.”

If you feel that a member of your family or community is struggling with emotional issues - especially loneliness and/or depression - invite them to contact our Clinical Services Department. We work with individuals with a wide range of challenges and financial capabilities.

Let’s not let another member of our community turn in despair to harming themselves and/or others. We can do our part to start the healing here and now.