Apparently Loads Of Us Are Lonely But We Don't Want To Talk About It
The Debrief: Let's start being alone together, rather than just alone
Be honest: how often do you feel lonely? Probably more than you’d care to admit, because saying you’re lonely isn’t cool. In fact, it heavily implies the opposite.
The thing is, I get lonely all the time. Especially on a Saturday night when you’ve somehow failed to organise any spectacular plans (they must be spectacular, too, otherwise it won’t look good on Facebook) and the rest of the world is shoving their social-media-friendly-good-times in your face. See also: thinking everyone has 100x more friends than you do.
Ironically, I’m far from alone in my loneliness. According to a survey conducted by The Co-operative Group, in which they spoke to 2,000 adults of varying ages, one-in-10 people said feeling lonely was something that affected them daily. They also found that two thirds of people said they’d find it uncomfortable telling family of friends that they needed company, because of the stigma attached and the association with mental health. The findings come after the Co-operative Group launched a campaign to tackle the issue of loneliness in partnership with the British Red Cross.
In a statement by Richard Pennycook, Group Chief Executive, back in July when the partnership was decided, he said, ‘We are standing up for what matters to our members and colleagues so that we can campaign for change and a better society. Loneliness is indiscriminate, it’s not just about older generations; it can affect anyone at any stage of their life and regardless of circumstances.’
The impact on loneliness on people’s health has been documented before as well. For example, one study found that loneliness can shorten a person’s lifespan as much as being obese, and they called for people to ‘start taking our social relationships more seriously’, lest we enter their predicted ‘epidemic’ of loneliness.
As well as that, a study conducted in 2014 last year found that three out of 10 of those ages 18-24 experience loneliness at least ‘some of the time’. While 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds feel ‘left behind’ by new ways of communicating.
In an age where we’re more connected to eachother than ever, it’s crushingly ironic that we seem to be the loneliest. The thing is, if we’re all feeling it, why not say it? Being alone together is way better than being lonely all by yourself.
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Picture: Lukasz Wierbowski
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