22% of Millennials (ages 23 to 38) say they have ‘no friends,’ and 30% say they always or often feel lonely-higher than any other generation. 16% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers say they don’t have any friends.The Week magazine quoting YouGov
I was going to comment just on these shocking statistics. However, looking into the source at YouGov I need to share some caveats first. The numbers represent responses from 1,254 adults in the United States who voluntary responded to the poll. They were emailed the poll because they signed up to take part in polls at YouGov (as have 1.2 million individuals; a select number are randomly chosen to receive each poll). Thus, there could be self-selection bias – people who sign up to spend their time taking polls may be less likely to have friends than those who do not. Maybe not, but a voluntary poll could be skewed for many reasons. I am also not suggesting that YouGov is a bad source. If accurate, the methods available online for their studies appear to be very transparent. I think it has value, but their stats must be viewed in context.
Additionally, 25% of millennial respondents reported that they had no acquaintances. How can you get through life without acquaintances? I find this hard to believe. It’s a difficult word, I keep spelling it incorrectly, maybe the problem is a lack of education and not lack of basic connection?
With all that said, what if nearly 1 in 4 young people (23-38) feel that they have no friends? Where is the breakdown as a culture?
Can we create a meaningful connection every day? Could this eventually begin to help? It might be asking a neighbor a meaningful question, or making a real connection with a service provider you come into contact with.