In a day and age when people have hundreds of “friends” online, a new study says that millennials — those between the ages of 23 to 38 — are having a problem getting friends in real life.
A recent poll from polling firm and market research company YouGov revealed that 30% of millennials said the always felt lonely; 27% say they have no close friends, and 22% said they didn’t have a single friend.
Nearly half of those millennials polled said they have between one and four friends they consider “close.”
Considering these sobering statistics, it’s no surprise 30% of millennials say they don’t have a best friend; 70% percent do, however.
Just 16% of Gen Xers and only 9% of boomers said they have no friends.
A related study, from the University of Pennsylvania, may shed some light: researchers found a link between social media use and “decreased well-being.”
Psychologist Melissa G. Hunt put it plainly: “Here’s the bottom line: Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness.”
Another reason Americans aren’t making friends? Fifty-three percent say they’re too shy. Twenty-six percent said they don’t have any hobbies that would help them meet new friends — while 27% who admitted to having trouble making friends say they felt they didn’t need any.
All this being said, 42% of Americans out of the millennial demographic say they’ve made a new friend in the last six months; 38% of millennials say they’ve done the same.
Work remains a prime spot for making friends, with 76% of those polled saying that’s where they met their new pal; 44% said through their church or similar organization; 38% say they’ve met someone out of the blue at a park or cafe — the same percentage of those who said their new friendship was born from meeting the parents of their kid’s friends.