A huge, somber new study from BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust found that found that 16-24 year-olds in the UK feel loneliness more acutely than any other age group. Two out of every five people in this age group say they feel lonely often or very often, compared to just 29 percent of 65 to 74-year olds.
The survey also found that turning to Facebook doesn’t tend to help loneliness, although it’s unclear why we needed a survey to tell us that. What is surprising is that people with a lot of Facebook friends reported feeling lonelier than people who don’t.
“I wondered whether there is something about the stress of modern life, or young people’s ability to cope with it, that makes them feel lonelier,” said Claudia Hammond, the study presenter. “Or is youth simply a time of life when people feel isolation most keenly?”
“To help them to connect with others, young people today have social media. They are more connected than ever before,” she continued. “But this can bring its own problems. If you’re feeling lonely, looking at pictures of other people appearing to have endless fun isn’t going to help with those feelings of isolation.”