The UK retail chain Topshop commissioned a survey by a team of psychologists into their key customer demographic: Millennials (those born between 1981 and the early 2000s, and also known as Generation Y). They interviewed 800 people. The results were so startling that they did not believe them. They interviewed another 800 and got the same results.
The results portrayed an alarming picture of an increasingly lonely and lost generation. More people live alone than at any other point in our recorded social history. On average, Millennials spend six-and-a-half hours a day on social media. Many who were interviewed considered work to be something they fitted in between social media and lunch! They found people had a very large number of ‘friends’ but an increasing sense of loneliness.
Not many of us at St George’s are Millennials, but increasingly we may face the same challenges. The pandemic and lockdown restrictions have thrown us to the availability and convenience of social media.
Zoom is great, our YouTube channel keeps us virtually together, even ‘Thought For Today’ gives a sense of daily sharing -but social media is no substitute for real, face-to-face friendships. We were created for friendship with God (Genesis 3:8) and with one another (Genesis 2:18).
The day is face to face contact and gathering together may be returning soon. When that day comes let’s keep all the advantages of social media, keeping Zoom and YouTube as a system but never letting them become a substitute.