Is this you? More and more people are reporting that they are feeling lonely. With an ageing population we might think this is to be expected and put our efforts into befriending elderly neighbours. And yet some of the people who you would think are the least likely to feel alone are actually teenagers and under-25s.
Feeling Left Out
This group of people is perhaps the most connected but their connections are through social media rather than real life. Friendships are measured in likes, followers and tags. With news feed after news feed showing pictures of nights out and holidays it can seem like everyone is out there meeting people and having a really great time whilst you sit on your sofa eating crisps and watching from the side-lines.
The number of friends you have is fairly irrelevant if you don’t have any quality friendships. Humans are social animals and it can be very hard to meet our deep-seated need for social contact solely through electronic means. To meet these needs we need quality friendships that aren’t judged on statistics but rather on good memories and shared experiences. If we meet people in person and take time to be part of their life we get much more out of the experience than an Instagrammed cake.
Put Down The Phone
When we spend large amounts of time on our phones, tablets or computers we don’t have that time available for social interactions. We also reinforce our feelings of being left out if we keep seeing our electronic friends’ status updates about what they’re doing today. A first step could be to limit screen time to minimise the impact it has on your life. A MEEM cable can help you to get out there by simplifying your backups – you can plug your charger in and forget about your phone for a time.
The next step to combating loneliness might be to join a club or a class to create some real world experiences and make some quality friendships. Maybe take up a new sport or learn a new language, and by all means use the advantages of the net to make that first move of finding like-minded people. But it is only the first step. Of course when you come home from the real interaction with your phone full of pictures of your new friends MEEM will keep them safe automatically, and help you keep safe and reinforce positive feelings from the experience.
Loneliness can affect anyone but you don’t have to let it get to you. Remember quality over quantity is what matters for friendships and to gain new ones, you have to look up from your phone sometimes.