Is social media making young people lonely? – Lauren Wise

Lauren Wise wonders if social media is making us more, not less, lonely
Lauren Wise wonders if social media is making us more, not less, lonely

Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. The Holy Trinity to the majority of young adults.

We rely on these apps everyday to give us a sense of approval, valuing ourselves on the amount of likes we receive, or the number of shares on our tweets and statuses.

But is this causing more harm than we realise?

Is our dependence on likes and shares starting to have an effect on our ability to socialise and communicate?

Are we the lonely generation?

Recent findings from the BBC Loneliness Experiment show that after surveying around  55,000 people, the results showed that 40 per cent of 16-24 year olds would regularly define themselves as often or very often feeling lonely compared to 27 per cent of over  75s.

We have become a group who no longer speak face to face, but rather through a phone.

Older generations look at us in amazement, wondering how we manage to communicate through the little screens we hold in our pockets.

I have a crippling fear of picking up the phone and attempting to talk to people.

I am so used to communicating through a screen, so much that I’d rather send an email, or drop a text.

This isn’t an attempt to demonise social media.

In fact, social media is one of the greatest creations that our generation has to utilise.

We are able to share moments in our lives through sharing videos and pictures that we may not be able to show others.

We can spread the word on actions and movements, give our opinions on world affairs and let them be heard.

But do we lose ourselves in our online presence? And are the happy personas we project through social media actually false images we’re hiding behind?

Lauren Wise is a journalism student studying at Highbury College, Cosham