Facebook's young generation 'lonely'

Despite having an average of some 243 ‘Facebook’ friends, teenagers are spending so much time on the Internet that 60 per cent have little time to go out with friends in real life, according to the study based on a survey.

The survey commissioned by ‘Yours’ magazine, involved people aged from 18 to 80, and found that more than a third of people spend more time chatting online than going out with friends, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported. And, as many as half of the respondents say they want to combat the problem and would do so by joining or starting a local friendship club.

The survey also found that 92 per cent of the over-50s believed that Britain used to be more friendly. Sixty per cent said the main reason they find it hard to make friends is that using technology to communicate is much easier but a similar proportion said they simply want someone with whom they can have a coffee and chat.

Overall, two-thirds said they “feel lonely” and need more face-to-face friends to make life really worth living. The average 50-year-old now spends half the week on their own — 84 hours — rising to four days 60 year-olds, four and a half days for 70-year-old and five days for the over 80s.

‘Yours’ editor Valery McConnell said she believed it was an indictment of British society: “Eighteen year-olds are as lonely as 80-year-olds and they want a friendship service because they can no longer make friends in the traditional ways.”

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