One might think in this connected day and age, we’re closer than ever, but a new study shows the opposite is true.
The health insurance company Cigna has discovered that more than three in five Americans are lonely.
There was a nearly 13% rise in loneliness since 2018, when the survey was first conducted.
The company found that 63% of men and 58% of women considered themselves lonely, and younger people were more commonly lonely than their elder counterparts.
What’s more, there’s proof that Facebook “friends” don’t necessarily translate to real friends: 73% of very heavy social media users were considered lonely, compared with 52% of light users.
The company also shared the warning signs of so-called chronic loneliness:
- Inability to connect with others on a deeper, more intimate level.
- Many acquaintances but no “best” or “close” friend.
- Feelings that no one “gets” you.
- Overwhelming feelings of isolation even if you’re at a party surrounded by dozens of people.
- Negative feelings of self-doubt and self-worth.
- Feeling exhausted when trying to engage in social activities.
Cigna also warned of the phenomenon of loneliness at work, warning that lonely workers “say they are less engaged, less productive, and report lower retention rates,” than their counterparts.
Worse for companies, lonely workers think about quitting their jobs at a rate twice that of non-lonely workers.