Social media isn't inherently isolating; it’s a tool, and its effects depend on how it’s wielded. We can use it in pro-social ways, or in antisocial ways.
Is the amount of time you’re spending on social media each helping you feel more connected to the people in your life? Or is it detracting from the close, one-on-one personal interactions you can only find off-line?
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It isn’t defined by the number of people in your life; instead, it’s the distance between what you want out of your relationships and what you’re getting.
So it’s absolutely possible to be lonely in a room full of people — even people you know — if you’re not getting the kind of interaction you crave.
Have quick, non-threatening conversations throughout the day: make small talk with your barista, the cashier at the grocery store, anyone you encounter who seems receptive.
Think of them as stretching a muscle: not the same as a full workout, but beneficial nonetheless. When you’re lonely, you go inward, and just stretching that little bit can kick-start a process that helps you feel better.
Do something you find totally engaging, to the point you lose track of time.
That activity doesn’t have to be mentally engaging or intellectually rigorous. Maybe it’s reading, running, or cleaning. If you’re truly immersed in what you’re doing, no matter what it is, you won’t have the mental space to be consumed by loneliness.
Take a critical eye to your relationships, individually and as a whole, to determine what may be missing, as well as which bonds could be strengthened.
If there are people on your list who you rarely see but you genuinely value and feel connected to, prioritize them more. And if there are people that don't add up value to your life, trim them out of your life.
The elderly are lonely. Teens are lonely. People in cities and rural areas are lonely to such an extent that it is considered a public health issue.
One report found that nearly half of respondents said they sometimes or always felt alone. But there are steps you can take when you're feeling especially lonely.
Outside of normal working hours and with all the things you could be doing in a day, there usually isn’t much time left over to spare.
The fact that you and your significant other regularly choose to make time for each other is a good sign that you’re both committed.
We don’t usually choose to spend several uninterrupted days or weeks of a vacation with people we don’t like a lot. You’re also making memories that last for a lifetime.