Online friendships helping Americans battle pandemic loneliness

·3-min read

Ever since the pandemic started, 67% of Americans feel more alone than ever before, says new research.

A poll of 2,003 Americans found that 55% feel like they've completely lost their sense of community in the past year, too.

A study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Medifriends aimed to see how COVID-19 has affected Americans and discovered the sad fact that 62% felt like they had absolutely no one to talk about their loneliness or isolation with during the quarantine period.

Sadly, 54% withheld from talking to anyone about how alone they felt during this past year because they didn't want to be a burden.

The feelings of loneliness and isolation were so rampant among Americans that 46% revealed they cried for the first time in years over the course of the pandemic.

Maintaining friendships and relationships takes a lot of energy, and since COVID-19 hit, 58% of those polled say they just can't keep up with everybody anymore.

As people began feeling more and more isolated and alone in the past year, Americans turned to the internet for a source of comfort and community. 

Over half of those polled say online friendships take much less energy to maintain than real-life ones, with 52% saying they actually feel more comfortable opening up to people they only know online.

Some of the reasons why online friendships allow people to open up more freely and comfortably are: it feels anonymous (41%), there's less judgment (34%) and feeling like there's less pressure to be perfect (23%).

Sixty-two percent of respondents reveal that after sharing their feelings with an online community, they actually feel better about themselves. 

As a result, 56% of respondents wouldn't have made it through this past year if it wasn't for an online community they had to communicate with. 

"Having a safe space where people can speak freely about their feelings and what they are dealing with is critical for their health," stated Michael Gianascoli, co-founder of Medifriends, a free online community where friends can share health-related issues and advice. "In fact, being able to openly discuss feelings and emotions is a great way to connect with others even in difficult times." 

Unfortunately, the average person ended up losing touch with four friends since the pandemic began. 

As a result, peak loneliness hit the average American in June 2020. 

Which caused Americans to turn to the internet to ease their lonesome feelings. The average American created three brand-new social media accounts just in the last year.

Leading to two deep conversations a week with an online friend — someone they've never met in real life. 

"Having a place to go to for deep conversations is crucial when experiencing feelings of loneliness, isolation, or other medical conditions. Being able to connect with others on a deeper level allows people to feel better about themselves and boost their mood overall," added David Gianascoli, co-founder.