As a society, we are more connected than ever before thanks to social media. However, we are also seeing a rise in loneliness, characterised as one of the largest public health issues of our time. We have also seen an increase in loneliness amongst young people.
In an age where we have the tools to instantly connect with people all around the world, one might assume that this can only aid social connection and networks. Although social media can and does aid genuine connection with others due to its accessible nature, this can very much depend on how one interacts with it.
When it comes to keeping in touch with friends online and using the platforms to forge and maintain offline connections, social media can advance meaningful connection but when it is
used as a substitute for face-to-face connection, it may evoke feelings of loneliness, joint with the somewhat inevitability of the comparison trap that many young people can fall into.
This is just one example that proves loneliness is not necessarily about being physically isolated but our own subjective experience. We can be very active on social media but still feel lonely. This idea is also inherently tied to feeling lonely within a crowd. Just because you’re surrounded by people, doesn’t mean you automatically feel connected to others.