Comedienne Sarah Millican’s annual Twitter campaign #joinin for anyone worried about being alone at Christmas launched last week. As Christmas approaches, many young people living in London feel isolated and alone. Often living in rented accommodation, with limited financial resources, far from where they grew up, under 25 year-olds are bombarded with festive season adverts showing happy nuclear families.
According to a survey published by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, 43% of 17 – 25 year olds who used Action for Children charity services experienced problems with loneliness. Less than half of this same group said they felt loved.
— Matt Reid (@mattreid65) November 15, 2017
In a report in The Independent, mental health charity Mind’s head of digital Eve Critchley said access to virtually every movement of our nearest, dearest and even those we only vaguely know through social media creates a pervasive sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that in turn perpetuates loneliness.
Dating apps can also undermine young people’s ability to form genuine relationships.
So what can you do in the run-up to Christmas if you’re young and lonely in London? Arguably social media can offer some support, there are friendship apps such as: Huggle, women-only Hey! Vina and social networks Mind’s supportive online community Elefriends. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness initiated its Twitter campaign to combat Christmas loneliness and isolation.
— Great Get Together (@great_together) November 9, 2017
But don’t forget about good old fashioned face-to-face contact. If you’re by yourself this Christmas, think about volunteering at one of London’s many food kitchens. You’ll be surrounded by other people and doing something valuable too: