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Is Our Love For Reality TV Affecting Our Real Life Friendships?

In all of the studies that I read around Gen Z and the topic of loneliness, a lot of the onus is placed on the excessive use of social media. Essentially they conclude that we are chronically online and that is why an overwhelming majority of 16-25 year olds are experiencing loneliness like no other generation.

According to Cigna, a US-based healthcare insurance company, 70% of Gen Z feel lonely. When I first read the statistics I wasn’t surprised. I understand why the effects of doom scrolling can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. However, what the statistics overlook is the category of content that is perpetuated online. ‘Day in the life’, ‘come with me to [insert restaurant/event]’, DIY projects; the list goes on and on.

Similarly, you only need to scroll on your social media platform of choice for a short while before you see somebody say “you don't owe anyone anything”. That statement, even with context provided, reveals the incredibly individualistic way of thinking that we have adopted over the past couple years, and we’re in a period where what is said online has become the catalyst to how we behave in real life. It’s no wonder that more and more young people feel lonely when they are encouraged to think about themselves first while watching everyone else outside having the time of their lives.