Phoneliness

One of the marks of the young generation known as Generation Z is loneliness. These are the kids born between 1997 and 2012. You would think that since they are immersed in a smartphone world where twenty-four seven connections with others are possible, they wouldn’t struggle with feeling lonely. Yet, fifty-six percent of these kids report feeling lonely once or twice a month, compared to only twenty-four percent of Baby boomers who say that they felt lonely this often during their childhood years. While there are many factors that contribute to the loneliness epidemic among Generation Z, one cause might be surprising. It seems that their smartphones are isolating them rather than connecting them, a reality that’s oftentimes described with this new word: Phoneliness. Since digital encounters can’t come close to real life interaction, we should be limiting phone use while facilitating face-to-face relationships. One great place for this to happen is in the church youth group.