UCLA conducted a very interesting study recently. I summarized for you the results in one sentence. Watch out, it’s painful to read:
We are lonelier than we’ve ever been; and loneliness is now proved to be a cause of premature death.
There might be many factors to explain why the younger generations are suffering from loneliness a lot more than their parents: academic pressure, helicopter parenting, ..you name it! But one will have difficulties convincing me that relationship with social media is not the predominant factor to explain increased loneliness among Gen-Z.
So my prescription for the loneliest-generation-ever is simple: force yourself to hang out with people. And by hanging out, I mean doing something with a physical person in the physical world. Texts to a friend, likes on Instagram, snapchats with new filters don’t count. We are talking of old-school real-world conversation here.
So call 5 people now. (if you are a parent, do it with your youth) Ask to meet up next week. Fill up your calendar with these 5 meetings. It might require to change your schedule a little bit, but that’s a good sign! Human relationships require sacrifices. But they are not a cause of premature death. Loneliness is.