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Loneliness: A Modern Day Disease

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Loneliness is becoming more common among all ages because of various links which include social, cognitive and behavioral factors. The idea of loneliness is when one doesn’t have any friends so they remain in a state of sadness. When one is lonely you don’t see them going out in public to make friends with strangers, they would rather sit on their phones and scroll through twitter, which is a problem. Socialization and relationships are important to our mental and physical health because it give our bodies a sense of life worth. Modern Loneliness is a rapidly growing problem in our world today due to social media, bullying and depression, but this can be solved by meeting the people in your community at local places to see what they are like.

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Social Media has become a monster in our world today by effecting people in many aspects through the mind and behavior. Generalizations have been created by social media that people think they need to follow in order to fit in which then makes them change their lives to be someone they aren’t. In the article it explains, “Some studies have indicated that social media use may be tied to negative mental health outcomes, including suicidality, loneliness and decreased empathy”. The use of some type of social media is common among almost everyone in our world today. Some of the things placed on social media can impact someone’s mental health. Individuals tend to use social media to express their lives and feelings. Also the article presents that, for instance, research indicates that one mechanism is the use of social media for negative social comparison which, alongside rumination, leads to later depression. By contrast, other research has found that positive use of social media, such as through authentic self-presentation, is associated with positive well-being in users”. Social media is also a place for everyone to share their personal life, accomplishments and several things that make them the person they are. People should be proud to share their lives with others and on social media outlets, but people must also know that the individuals that see these posts much be impacted in some way, because their life isn’t so great and happy. But that one person could take this inspiration and make an effort to improve their life in some way. As a solution, some use this opportunity in life work for something they want to achieve but seeing other people do great things affects their mental health causing them to feel more depressed and lonely because they aren’t that successful. From a recent study it shows that, “Our results revealed that, overall, social media use is a poor predictor of mental health problems and concerns about social media precipitating a mental health crisis may be unwarranted”. Social media might not be a direct effect to the mental health crisis but it is a factor in which one may be effected. Overall, if people just disconnected from social media and live in the now mental health would be on the rise positively. Many years ago when social media wasn’t present these mental health problems weren’t present but, people in our world today would rather live behind a screen.

Bullying has always been a problem in our world and today it has grown with social media becoming a new thing. People are more willing to bully online and through social media because they are behind a curtain. They are not with the person or seeing them so they are unaware how their actions are affecting the person on the other side. Bullying is defined as the act of when someone attends to hurt or harm another person or group of people with less power. An article states that, “Peer victimization directly targets adolescents’ self-worth, physical safety, and social relationships. Further, victimization may represent peer rejection, which damages self-esteem and impacts adolescents’ abilities to meet their needs for belonging”. One who is bullied by someone with higher status it automatically decreases their mental health and self-worth because they feel they aren’t good enough as themselves and people dislike them. This causes the person who was bullied to want to hide away from everyone feeling that they are not good enough and leaving them with the fear that if they go out they will be made fun of. A study shows that, “In a predominantly White American, middle-income sample of late elementary students, both in-person overt victimization and cyber victimization were uniquely associated with concurrent loneliness and social acceptability”. Being bullied directly related to loneliness baed on this study and someone’s social relationships. After being bullied on social media individuals may develop social anxiety because of where it occurred and everyone having ability to see it. A person might worry if their friends judge them this way now, because in our world real friendships are hard to come by. In conclusion bullying is a terrible act in person or behind the screens and those doing it don’t think about how it is may impact the person they are bullying because they just think it’s funny, even though the person may be mentally and physically affected by the act.

Depression is a major key in modern loneliness because when people feel lonely they don’t feel the sense of well-being because of an absence of social relationships, which can significantly impact their health. In the article it states, “Loneliness is a strong risk factor for depression, over and above measures of objective social connection. Although the prevalence of loneliness varies with age, its association with depression remains stable across the lifespan”. Loneliness and depression have a direct correlation according to studies, because of the causation the two terms effect each other. A person that is depressed may at first have friends but then they socially isolate themselves due to the lack of self-worth. This can cause them to become lonely and many health factors decline at this point. In recent studies the link between the two can be solved according to the article from this statistic, “The relationship between loneliness and depression among middle-aged and older adults with SMI may be particularly important to consider. A survey of self-rated needs among middle-aged and older adults with SMI showed that, beyond the top-ranked item of improving physical health (endorsed by 79. 2% of the sample), just over half of the sample reported a need for friendship (52. 8%) and to feel more comfortable around others (50. 0%)”. If people affected were given the support by their peers and felt loved by others that would help in solving over 50% of modern loneliness. The solution to this problem isn’t occurring because people who are depressed and lonely are socially isolating themselves. For almost all social situations give them anxiety and they fear rejection, which would staple their mental health even more. Individuals could obtain counseling help from a licensed therapist which would assist in helping them opening up regarding their feelings. This could help in overcoming negative feelings and thoughts to help overcome the fear of others and help them gain a sense of wellbeing and possibly feel loved by someone. The link between loneliness and depression is becoming a larger problem in our world and it will keep rising unless those effected are helped by others around them along with being open to seeking help.

Loneliness, social isolation, depression, mental health issues are all on the rise in our modern world today, but there is a solution to make it go back on the decline. The young foundation writes, “We know that in the UK, social isolation and loneliness are comparable risk factors for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day”. Social isolation is a terrible thing because in order to live a long life you need happiness, friends, and laughter. We can fix this issue of loneliness by creating a social place for those in the community to come and connect, express feelings, get help and make new friends. This plan can arise to many new things for example this article states, “the coffee morning has been run out of residents’ homes, and has led to a summer event at the local cricket club – the village’s only community hub” (Young). A town in the UK created a coffee location for people to visit and hangout. With this new activities are formulated and those who share the same hobbies like the cricket club come together. This can lead to forming of new relationships with others you didn’t know, because of isolation in one’s home and unwillingness to meet others. Another positive to this solution is proven that, “When communities come together, through ideas and initiatives such as those supported as part of this work, then people have an opportunity to hear one another’s stories and break down assumptions about who we are, and what we experience as individuals”. People make assumptions about people just from first impression these days instead of actually finding out who the person is but talking and getting to know them personally. This solution will work because, when you expand yourself into the community you see and meet others who are friendly and care of others. This helps to drive a feeling of value and self-worth for many. The solution to modern loneliness is just as simple as getting out of your house and going to a local meet up place to get to know the people. Surrounding yourself with nice caring people helps to build self-worth, creates friendships and gives you feeling of being liked or even loved by someone.

Social media, bullying and depression are all factors that contribute to the rise in modern loneliness. This can be solved through meeting people in your community at local places to see what they are like instead of just sitting behind a screen avoiding any social interaction. People need to stop using social media so often and get out to make memories and do what they want to do with their lives which will have a forever impact. If you just sit behind your phone, refuse to meet others and weep in depression the regret you will have in your decision making will have a lasting impact on your life. This activity will not allow you to have a full happy life and could cause health issues. The cure to modern loneliness is being more social and welcoming to those around you instead of just making assumptions due to appearance, because that is what most people do. Today we don’t see the inner personalities of those we are surrounded by. Mental health is a serious issue in our world that can lead to many physical factors. Improving what we do, interacting with others, establishing relationship and improving our overall life with interaction with people will definitely improve the overall health of our world. We will have more worth because we will be doing things that we make a difference and effect change.

10 October 2020

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