The New York post has recently highlighted how despite being one of the most populous cities in the world, New York is a place that can actually lend itself to loneliness and isolation. There are lots of people, but finding “your people” is not as easy as you might think, especially for young people moving to the city with no prior connections.
Danielle Bayard Jackson, a friendship expert for Bumble For Friends told The Post:
“We often hear people talk about the irony of being in New York, which … is the most populated city in the country with over 8 million people, and also simultaneously feeling disconnected. So sometimes it feels like a special kind of loneliness.”
It’s easy to imagine New York as a glamorous place to live, but it’s not the reality for many. FOMO, the fear of missing out, can be particularly high in such populous places. Data from Bumble showed that one in three New Yorkers said that they have turned to meeting their friends online and that it has helped reduce loneliness.
Particularly after years of pandemic, meeting and interacting through online means has become something that younger generations are open to and in some cases much more comfortable with. If initial contact can be made online, it can be safer, make you feel more comfortable, and allow people to express themselves better than taking a chance out in day-to-day life.
One New Yorker, Laura Mahacheck, who moved to the city after college described the difficulties she was having to the New York Post, and that in the end, it was the establishment of a ‘NYC Social Girls Club’ on Facebook that allowed her to meet like-minded individuals in the city. The group now has over 1300 members. Similarly Ellie Ballin, another recent mover to the big apple, told The Post:
“I’m definitely using the internet to my advantage to meet people. Because of the pandemic and just because of Gen Z culture these days, why not just use the internet to your advantage?”
Whether you live in a physically isolated area, or a culturally isolating place like a big city, friendship apps and social discovery tools are more and more becoming the answer to people’s loneliness woes.