Opinion: Gen Z Is Bearing The Weight Of An Unprecedented Loneliness Epidemic

Camille P.

Tangential thoughts on spellcheck and Kylie Jenner


“We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.”- The Truman Show

Gen Z will be the first generation younger than Google, growing up to enter workforces that have never operated without the Internet.

I would say this makes me feel old… but it doesn’t. I barely remember life without Google, and I never have worked without the Internet.

 The Loneliest Generation

Where does this reality leave us?

Our children and someone 2 years younger than me will enter and have entered a generation that is the loneliest. 73% of Gen Z has reported feeling lonely sometimes or always.

Factors contributing across the board:

  • not being able to spell loneliest without spellcheck(that one was a joke)
  • Social media(shocker, I know)
  • Overstimulation
  • We aren’t as dependent on each other. When was the last time you asked your neighbor for that recipe or a cup of sugar?

I want to talk about all of these, but of course, I need to leave you wanting more, so today we’re just going to touch on social media.

Is Social Media Inherently Bad?

To answer this question, no, information-sharing is not inherently bad. What we do with social media is another story.

Social media causes feelings of isolation in the most “connected” generation because most often we use it to compare ourselves to others.

On the most shallow level, this can be comparing our lips to Kylie Jenner’s. It can also be comparing our accomplishments to that of our colleagues on LinkedIn, our meditation minutes, our health goals, or our Sun, Moon, and Rising signs because everyone knows it’s bad to be an Aries Rising.

In all seriousness, we often feel left out and define who we are by what we see on social media at the most vulnerable ages- and this is coming from a girl who didn’t have Facebook or Instagram when she was in middle school or high school.

I cannot imagine what it’s like to be an adolescent trying to make your vaping video look cooler than everyone else’s right now.

The Benefits We Overlook

 I firmly believe social media can be a fantastic place to spread ideas, raise awareness, and connect with like-minded people- especially in the middle of a global pandemic that is compounding pre-existing loneliness.

Especially if you’re a recent college graduate who is never in close proximity to the same group of people every day and, therefore, has no friends except those few from college, your significant other, Claire from Outlander, and-oh yeah!- all of those people you’re meeting on Bumble BFF.

Boom. Social media.

It’s a double-edged sword.


Whether we like it or not, social media is a part of the reality we’re presented with now. There is a short window of time before every generation won’t remember a world without social media, so you can use that to move to a remote place in the woods and raise your family sans social media.

I’d #love that for you.

What kind of impact is spell check- and AI- having on our writing abilities? I grow faint at the thought.

This leaves us trying to figure out how we live with this double-edged sword- and how we raise a world of socially responsible critical thinkers in it, as well.

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Camille is a North Carolina based writer, yogini, traveler, and most importantly, a human being. She writes about current events, travel, love, and the lessons life has to teach us.

Greensboro, NC

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