Loneliness ‘no longer a taboo’ as isolated take to social media

Almost half a million mentions of loneliness were analysed
Almost half a million mentions of loneliness were analysed
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Lonely people are increasingly turning to social media to vent their worries, a study has show.

A year-long analysis showing almost half a million mentions of loneliness on Twitter and Instagram between December 2014 and December 2015, suggests “it’s no longer taboo” to speak about the subject, an analysts Brandwatch said.

The research showed that January was the loneliest month, with more than 41,000 mentions, while September was the least lonely month, with just under 30,000 mentions.

Key topics that come up through the full year analysis include being the only one left at work, being alone in the evening - at night, tonight, later, feeling bored, getting drunk, and “hating” being alone.

There was an increase in mentions on Valentine’s Day, particularly by women.

Shahlia Nelson-Rogers, from Brandwatch said: “For many social media users, it has become second nature to broadcast their activities and pastimes on Twitter or other platforms. They often post about what they’re watching, eating or doing, but there has also been an increase in the number of more emotional or feelings-driven posts.

“Relationship break ups are widely discussed, having a bad day is laughed about with faceless companions, and now it’s no longer a taboo to talk about feeling lonely.

But while some chose to turn to social media to share their feelings of loneliness, research released by ChildLine this week to mark 30 years of the service showed that social media could heighten feelings isolation in children.

Many children reported the ever-growing influence of the internet in their lives was leaving them feeling isolated, with many saying that social media led to them comparing themselves to others, and feeling inferior, ugly, and unpopular as a result.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said: “It is clear from the hundreds of thousands of calls ChildLine receives that we have a nation of deeply unhappy children.

“The pressure to keep up with friends and have the perfect life online is adding to the sadness that many young people feel on a daily basis.”