A curious feature of contemporary society that we are just beginning to understand, is that even though people are constantly connected through digital media, there’s even more loneliness and depression than ever.
An obvious reason for this may be that we are so absorbed in superficial interactions on our phones that we don’t make an effort to have genuine face-to-face conversations with friends and family.
Instead, we subject ourselves to a never-ending deluge of social media posts and obsessively text back and forth with friends all day, rather than simply enjoying the present moment.
Of course, there’s nothing exactly wrong with digital communications; smartphones and messaging services like WhatsApp allow us to stay in touch with friends and families in different countries for free and make plans on the fly.
However, when we are constantly expecting the next notification on our phone, we don’t allow ourselves the proper amount of time to recharge and catch up with ourselves.
If you’re on the far end of the extrovert spectrum, this constant communication may not have a negative effect on you, however, if you’re a highly sensitive person or more of an introvert, a full day of texting and digital media may leave you feeling fried.
Whatever your age, it’s important to find your sweet spot between alone time and social time.
Let’s look at how this balance plays out for teens, millennials and seniors.
Solo And Social Living By Generation
You may feel a mix and pity and jealousy for Gen Z – the youth generation that grew up with the Internet in their pockets – since they are both the first generation to grow up with the anxiety of constant connection and also the first generation to consciously ration their exposure to it.
Like anyone else, teens need time to recharge and process their experiences in order to make sense of them.
In this regard, millennials may have caught the brunt of the negative effects, since smartphone addiction wasn’t considered a serious problem until recently.
Most millennials are in their late twenties and early thirties at this point. While the generation has been labeled as lazy, the decline in job opportunities and the spike in housing prices have made things difficult.
Thus, communal living is common in order to split costs, and couples often move in together quickly to save on rent (though they may not get married for a decade, if ever).
Millennials also tend to bond over shared cultural references and want lots of time to travel even if they hold a full-time job.
As studies and new stories come out extolling the virtues of community living and co-housing, seniors are opening up more and more to the idea of community living in multi-generational communities or retirement residences.
Residences like All Seniors Care Living Centres in Canada provide a range of options from independent living to assisted living and secured, purpose-built memory care options for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Seniors living far away from their families can find meaningful social interactions through gardening clubs, collaborative art projects and simply being around people whenever they want.
At the same time, having a luxurious private suite to retire to for some alone time can be a relief!