A new survey of 20,000 Americans has shown that young people are a lot more likely to report that they’re lonely than senior citizens.
For Gen Z (18 to 22), the score was actually the highest, with loneliness scores of approximately 48, while people over 72 years old were reporting a score of around 39. Even more drastically, it turns out that being lonely has the same effect on mortality as 15 smokes a day, which makes it significantly more dangerous than obesity.
The survey, undertaken by health insurers Cigna, is based on the UCLA’s Loneliness Scale.
The study also reported that youngsters with the highest rates of social media use showed the same feelings of loneliness as people who hardly used SMS sites at all. “Meaningful social interaction” is the key thing that can make people feel better, according to Cigna CEO David Cordani. That does not seem to include sliding into somebody’s DM’s or looking at memes.
Over half of the Gen Z-ers polled ticked the boxes for ten of the 11 emotions linked to loneliness, while more than 90% of people 72 and older claimed that they felt “in tune with others.” If you wonder about the cigarette fact, it is because being lonely makes you feel stressed, and feeling stressed leads to chronic inflammation. Even more fun.
However, the study comes up with ways to alleviate loneliness. They are pretty obvious: sleep, spend time with your family, exercise, and don’t work too much. All of them are easy to recommend but harder to actually realize.
These activities involve putting down your mobile, even if the study does not explicitly conclude that social media makes us depressed. Your grandparents may not be able to send a text, but they aren’t stressing themselves to death either.
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