More people are lonely than you may think

From WSO

In today’s social media dominated world, we only see edited versions of reality. Most likely, this is a result of human nature (the tendency for human beings to want to show off/be admired) and the apps themselves. After all, who wants to follow or watch someone who posts pictures of paint drying? As consumers of social media, we only want to see the fun and exciting, not the boring and normal.

Therein lies the issue: we constantly see the positive aspects of others’ lives, but fail to see the negative aspects. There are exceptions of course, but as a generalization, this is true. As a result, I’d argue that more people are lonely than you may think.

This was a realization I came to in the past year through various personal experiences. For instance, during a drunken moment, one of my friends revealed to me that he felt very lonely and didn’t actually have many “close” friends. This came as a huge surprise since this guy is one of the more extroverted, social, and outgoing people I know – he’s not at all someone you’d expect to be lonely, at least based on physical appearance and personality. He was even a member of a frat, so at the very least, you’d think his brothers would be close friends.

Another time, after hosting a party, I was cleaning up my apartment and found a bottle of antidepressants. The antidepressants ended up belonging to one of my friends, who similarly never really displayed overt signs of anxiety/depression. I was shocked.

You can call me naive, but I think this is an incredibly important topic, and one for which it would be especially beneficial to discuss on an anonymous forum like WSO. The point is that you are not alone if you feel lonely. It’s perfectly common and normal to occasionally have feelings of loneliness or social anxiety.

We’ve all had moments when you see a friend’s Snapchat story and you wonder, “Why wasn’t I invited?” (I guess this only applies to the millennials) Even if you’re confident in yourself and know that social media is a facade, it still certainly does not feel good.

Curious to hear everyone’s own experiences with loneliness, and anything else related to this topic.

EDIT: I just wanted to add that being alone and being lonely are not the same (this is from some of the comments). You can be happy and alone, and alternatively, you can also be with others and feel lonely.

I’m about as introverted as one can get, and I’m not lonely. Not remotely.

How does one determine when someone else is lonely?

Its pretty easy.

Step 1: Ask if handle is ‘atush’. Step 2: If handle is ‘atush’ ---------> lonely

I’ll have to remember that.

I got two dates this weekend.

Who is atush? Is he new?

I presume that one of them was 1/21/2017 and the other was 1/22/2017.


Haha, you got it. :wink: Kid wants to have fun.

Is this why you created yet another alter ego to argue with in WC?

This thread has become victim of personlization.

That one time, my internet broke and I had to go out to buy some magazines. It was a truly challenging period in my life.

If it can happen to AKON, it can happen to you.

I think loneliness might be more rare that people think. Just because a person is alone, feels unhappy, and wishes someone else is there does not make them “lonely”. That could just be a person craving validation. In fact I think the main reason people seek the company of others is directly related to fulfilling a need to be validated. I define that as a separate condition to loneliness since validation can be intrinsically fulfilled on your own if you are aware that is what you seek. I could go as far as to say I theorize that loneliness might actually be a myth.

^The state of loneliness is common. Feeling lonely is also one of the four states of being to a type of vulnerability. Addicts know this as it is part of the HALT acronym. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. When they feel any of these four, they are more likely to use. These four states are equally important in spirituality as temptation is likely to strike during these states. But, in general it is useful to know what you are feeling in order to effectively manage it before others feel the maleffect of your state of being. Having objective thinking is best accomplished when outside of these four states. The ability to think objectively within these states during routine decisions needs to be fraught with caution. For important decisions, you often hear people say ‘maybe you should sleep on it.’ Finally, I think we all know how snappy we get with people when angry (hunger for some people as well). In order to prevent damaging relationships, we must curb these initial urges to lash out and identify why we are feeling angry. Sometimes its obvious, other times it is deep underlying complex issues.

St. Augustine, one of the biggest documented sinners (and Bishop and Doctor of the Church), wrote: “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” His book Confessions (late 4th century) details many sexual conquests and a life of excess in a very intelligent man. His many conquests in life lead him to find meaning that he is ultimately lonely until finding and giving his life to God.

Being alone doesn’t mean somebody is lonely. Relax, fam.

Yes, but tread carefully as the reverse is true.

I think an important distinction must be made that S2000 adeptly pointed out, it is quite futile to try to determine if someone else is lonely.

But, it is a valuable exercise for individual growth.


This is the type of shit that kills people. Screaming urge to use heroin? Eat a sandwich.

Ok dopey.