Filled with memes, social media posts, solo travelling opportunities and so on, this generation is all about embracing ‘me time’ and self-love.
Dear millennial, chances are that when you woke up this morning, the first thing you did was check your phone and scroll through your social media feeds… and then, a hundred more times throughout the day. To the outside world, you must have an unending friend list and the coolest social life. But, alas, you are just a part of a modern paradox, so tethered to people online that you start to disassociate from them offline!
True to this, a recent study by YouGov suggests that millennials are the loneliest generation. The report found that 30 per cent of people aged 23 to 38 always or often feel ‘lonely’. But does that necessarily mean something sad?
Well, at least not for Husna Jahan, a video production professional. “I don’t really feel lonely. The loneliness I have is rather a good sort of a lonely. It’s loneliness where I get to know things about myself more,” shares Husna. Living in a big city, away from her family, Husna believes that this loneliness empowers her. Even though she has people to talk to, she chooses to speak to herself more often instead.
When was the last time that you decided to explore your city alone? Or took yourself out for a cup of coffee or had a nice dinner for one? For 28-year old Anindita Patra, this is as common as the sun every morning. “I’m 28, single for the last three to four years, and living alone. Many might think ‘aha, what a sad life, she must be so lonely’ but it is actually very liberating. After work when I come back to an empty house, make a cup of my favourite lavender tea and put on some good music, it is absolute bliss!” explains Patra. Be it going to the theatre, or enjoying a drink or two, Patra loves splurging on herself and finds comfort in her own company.
In a world that is running after acquaintances, it is very important to stop and ask yourself, “Do I know who I am, really?” Being in a co-dependent relationship for long often robs one of their identity.
“Before my divorce, my life was great, or so I thought. I thought I was complete and happy, but, I didn’t realise how much of my self-identity had nothing to do with… myself,” recalls Mahesh Kumar, a Delhi resident, who likes to call himself ‘happily divorced’ now. Expressing a similar sentiment, Anindita chimes in, “I am not ready to give the key to happiness in somebody else’s hand.”
For solo travellers, who spend weeks or even months at a stretch discovering places on their own, loneliness is just a thought away. “Travelling is mostly a family activity in our society. So, it is quite common for me to reach a place, see it filled with family tourists and, suddenly, feel lonely. But, that also keeps me grounded. I think of my family back home and they become dearer to me,” says Kritika Kher, an avid traveller.
On the flip side, some millennials can feel isolated when they do not thrive in their own company, while their peers can. “Loneliness to me is when I feel left behind and can’t make myself happy even if I do the things that make me happy. I also isolate myself sometimes just so people won’t ask me how I am,” shares Shradhdha Das, a media student from Delhi.
Maybe for millennials, it is all about walking the tightrope of finding oneself and not being lonely, after all.