With the expansion of social networks, people are physically socialising less than ever. Even though this sounds weird, it’s a well known paradox. With the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and other social networks, people don’t feel the need to catch up in person as they did in the days before the expansion of internet/smart phones. They can reach their friends with a touch of a button, but it takes so much more to actually meet them and spend some quality time together. This can make some people feel lonely.
The lonely are most often elderly right? Indeed there are quite a few charities concentrating on lonely older people, however, the majority of people reporting loneliness in a recent study by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) are under the age of 50.
While this study indicates the number of lonely people may be as high as 23% of the UK population, we have attempted to quantify the size of this problem in terms of numbers of people who are so desperately lonely that it could have a significant negative impact on their physical and mental health.
The Socializer study
We looked at what people might search for on the internet when they are lonely and seeking help.
We focussed on what words and terms that extremely lonely people might use to seek help or get more information and we find a significant group of extremely isolated people.
Young and so desperately lonely – over 2 million of them
The total monthly search volume* for ‘lonely’ and related search terms like ‘i feel lonely’ and ‘I’m so lonely’ is 141,980 per month. If you add ‘Isolated’ and associated terms (38,310) into the mix we are looking at over two million lonely people who are searching every year. This group of people are at the most extreme desperate edge of the problem.
There is no one cure for being desperately lonely but the ability to meet people and socialize could provide temporary relief at the very least.
We have built an app that tells you where you can find nearby people that are open for meeting and grabbing a drink with. After starting the app, you will see a list of people within a certain distance that have their app turned on and equally eager to meet someone new.
You will get their basic info, a short description of their plans for the evening (watching a game, having pre-drinks, chilling after work). With a few clicks you could establish a connection with them and arrange to meet up. We’ll even make some suggestions on where to meet.
“People find it hard and frustrating to meet someone and they are facing the fear of being ignored, rejected and lonely even in the connected world. That’s why we built Socializer app and made it available to everyone for free. With Socializer you can meet someone within minutes, wherever you are. Our vision is a society that is more connected than ever, without compromising on the basic human need to socialize,” explains Milos Mandic, CEO of Socializer.
*figures obtained via SEMrush application based on a search for ‘lonely’ and ‘isolated’ and related terms