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Loneliness and Its Impact on Today's Digital Society

Loneliness has become a significant issue in today's society, and a recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll sheds light on just how widespread it is. Conducted from May 10-13, 2024, this survey of 1,794 U.S. adults reveals that 19% frequently or always feel lonely, while 29% sometimes do in America.

Who’s Feeling the Most Lonely?

The survey highlights a stark age-related disparity in loneliness. Younger adults, especially those aged 18 to 29, report the highest levels of loneliness, with 29% frequently or always feeling isolated. This trend decreases with age, with 23% of 30-to-44-year-olds, 16% of 45-to-64-year-olds, and just 7% of those 65 and older experiencing similar levels of loneliness.

Women seem to feel the sting of loneliness slightly more than men. According to the poll, 20% of women frequently feel lonely compared to 17% of men.

What’s Driving These Feelings?

Several factors contribute to the feelings of loneliness among Americans. The top reasons identified in the survey include:

  • Not living close to loved ones: 13%

  • Not having a romantic relationship: 12%

  • Difficulty making friends: 11%

  • Spending too much time online: 11%

  • Unsatisfying romantic relationships: 8%

  • Not having enough time to socialize: 8%

Men tend to cite the lack of a romantic relationship (15%) and spending too much time online (13%) as major contributors to their loneliness. In contrast, women are more likely to point to not living close to loved ones (16%) and difficulty making friends (14%).

The Role of Social Media.

Hannah Rose, founder of Rose Wellness, notes that loneliness might be even more prevalent than the poll suggests. She’s observed a significant loneliness issue among her patients, particularly those in Generation Z. Rose points to social media as a major culprit, saying it fosters isolation by creating a barrier to true connection. The poll backs this up, with 17% of 18-to-29-year-olds attributing their loneliness to excessive online time.

“Social media often drives an unattainable perfection complex,” Rose explains. “We endlessly scroll through highlight reels of others’ lives, which can intensify feelings of isolation.” She emphasizes the need to develop a healthy relationship with oneself as a foundation for building meaningful connections with others.

Laura Erickson-Schroth, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer at the Jed Foundation, adds that young people’s lives have been profoundly altered by the advent of smartphones, leading them to spend more time in virtual spaces. While these spaces can offer important connections, especially for marginalized groups like LGBTQ youth, they cannot replace the value of face-to-face interactions.

Family therapist Saba Harouni Lurie highlights that social media can lead to unfavorable comparisons, making people feel as though their lives are lacking in comparison to others. This dynamic often exacerbates feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Overcoming Loneliness.

So, how can we combat this pervasive sense of loneliness? Experts suggest taking proactive steps to build in-person connections. Erickson-Schroth recommends participating in community events and activities that align with personal interests. “Join clubs or groups where you can meet people who share similar hobbies,” she advises. “Research shows that many people feel lonely and are looking to meet new friends too.”

Loneliness is a complex issue, but it’s one that can be addressed through intentional efforts to connect with others and foster meaningful relationships. Remember, it’s not just about making friends—it’s also about nurturing a healthy relationship with yourself. By stepping out of our comfort zones and engaging with our communities, we can help mitigate the loneliness epidemic and build a more connected society.

What Socialode is Doing?

This is the main reason why we're creating Socialode. The world is a very lonely place, and no one should be a part of that world. We live in a society where we can connect with someone across the world in a matter of seconds, but the sad part is that there isn't anyone we know to connect to on the other side of the world.

Socialode is hopefully a solution to the issues of social media today, and even if it's an uphill battle, we'll continue to work so that one day we all can have real friends in an isolated world, regardless of wealth, fame, culture, race, or religion.

As Always,

You Just Need To Be You


The Socialode Team


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