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Surprise! Study Finds Millennials "Have No Friends"

ELLE logo ELLE 6 days ago Sukriti Wahi
Ilana Glazer standing posing for the camera: New research has found that millennials are the loneliest generation, with 25% reporting that they don't have a single friend... © Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd New research has found that millennials are the loneliest generation, with 25% reporting that they don't have a single friend...

When it comes to our health, we already know the importance of having good, supportive relationships.

But despite the fact that we appear to be constantly connected to one another, thanks to social media, new research has found that 22% of Millennials claim to have "no friends" while 30% of them say they "always feel lonely", putting them ahead of both Generation X (20%) and Baby Boomers (15%).

Millennials, a term encompassing those born from 1981 to 1996, are now being dubbed "the loneliest generation", with the research also discovering that 25% of them say that they have "no acquaintances", 27% claim they have "no close friends" and 30% report that they have "no best friends".

In addition to the moniker of "the loneliest generation", the study also refers to Millennials as "the social media generation", a facet which the research attributes at least part of the group's widespread feelings of isolation.

"YouGov's research for this survey didn't directly examine why Millennials might be feeling more lonely than older generations, but earlier studies point to social media and the internet as potential influences," data journalist Jamie Ballard wrote.

Social media aside, the study also uncovered a number of reasons Millennials may be feeling more lonely than previous generations. One of the major ones was shyness (53%), while 27% said they "find it difficult to make friends" and 26% said they didn't have any hobbies or interests that could encourage the development of friendships.

Although the study didn't address them, it could be said that there are numerous other factors that make it difficult to foster friendships in young adulthood, including life and career upheaval, moving to new cities or countries for work, longer working hours and increasing rates of anxiety.

It's not all bad news though, in spite of the perceived barriers, Millennials are still forming friendships, with 38% claiming to have made a new friend in the last six months and 76% saying they'd managed to make at least one through their local community.

Depressing as the overall statistics may be, there are some positives worth taking away. For starters? A little less Instagram, a little more 'IRL'.

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