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Loneliness Surging Among Millennials

According to internet market research firm YouGov, “the social media generation is the one that feels the most alone.” Their latest report details a surge in feelings of loneliness among the millennial generation, currently between the ages of 23 and 38. In their latest poll, thirty percent of millennials reported feeling lonely either always or often, compared to 20 percent of their boomer counterparts. Given that loneliness tends to trend upward as people increase in age, such an uptick among younger adults is concerning.

Researchers are also interested in the question of how internet accessibility factors into the equation. Millennials are the most likely to be frequently online, so it’s possible that consistent social media usage on personal devices could be contributing to feelings of loneliness.

No matter the cause, it seems that loneliness can have adverse effects on our health. It’s correlated with higher blood pressure and more heart disease, and increases risk of death by 26 percent.

Nevertheless, researchers were quick to point out that it’s not all bad news. Small doses of loneliness can help. Psychologist Maike Luhmann said, “As long as we then do what we should do—reconnect with people—then loneliness is a good thing. It becomes a bad thing when it becomes chronic. That’s when the health effects kick in. And it becomes harder and harder to connect with other people the longer you are in the state of loneliness.”

Potential Preaching Angles: Feelings of loneliness can overwhelm us, but God promises to be ever-present. Since so many of us suffer from loneliness, by extending ourselves and reaching out to others, we aid in our own recovery.

Source: Brian Resnick, “22 percent of millennials say they have ‘no friends,’” Vox (8-1-19)

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