I began unpacking my two suitcases in my beautiful new bedroom. I had socks in my hands and thought “I don’t know where these go.” And that tiny thought caused my breakdown. It was all because I couldn’t decide which drawer to put my socks in. (Megan Cary, discussing the difficulties when moving away from home)
Moving away can be an incredibly stressful time, even if you’re moving to that place just a few houses down the road. You’re gathering literally everything that you own and taking them with you, as well as all of the old memories from your old home. In fact, research in 2014 suggested that it’s as stressful as other major life events, like divorce! Two in three people placed the experience at the very top of their stress list in a poll of 2,000 adults.
Personally, I don’t think that this stress that comes with moving out is talked about anywhere near enough. Often at the age of 18, young adults are expected to gather their belongings, say goodbye to familiar surroundings, and start a new life at university. Young adults especially are left to figure it out on their own most of the time. Not to mention the fact that this is probably the first time that they are living away from their family and friends, people they’ve been surrounded by their entire lives. This blog is here to give advice to people that have found themselves alone for the first time, helping them to feel not so lonely.
Moving away in 2018, however, is a completely different ordeal to how it used to be. The world nowadays is very digitally connected. Everybody is basically attached to their phones, and Ofcom reports that 78% of adults would not be able to live without them. I’m sure many of you reading this are also guilty of checking your phone before your eyes are even fully open in the morning. According to a survey by Report Linker, 66% of millenials are on their phones before getting out of bed.
This undeniably makes the moving experience very different. Before social media, moving away from home would have meant completely distancing yourself from friends and family, with the occasional phone call and letter. We are now able to move thousands of miles away, and still be able to see a loved one’s face and hear their voice with the click of a button. This, obviously, makes things a bit easier for young people that have found themselves somewhere completely new. Any feelings of homesickness are a lot easier to deal with when you can contact home at any moment.
However, I think that this digital connection can make things a lot more difficult too. A dependency on social media can be incredibly distracting and disruptive for a person who is just beginning to learn who they are and who is trying to find their feet for the first time in their adult lives. Therefore, I think that as the usage of social media increases, so does the level of stress and anxiety that a young person experiences.
Social Media: A Cause For Loneliness?
I put a poll up on my Twitter and asked whether people felt as though social media connected them to others or whether it made them feel isolated.
Hello Twitter!!? My first blog post will be up soon (link in bio!) so be sure to check that out.
Firstly though, I'm interested in your opinions. Would you say that social media makes you feel more connected to others, or more isolated and lonely?
— First Steps to Freedom (@steps_freedom) December 3, 2018
As you can see, the majority felt as though social media helped them connect with others. However, a small amount of people still feel isolated due to social media, and I’d like to look into why that might be in future blog posts.
That being said, the impact that social media and the internet has had on people that are just starting out in adult life is huge. They can find immediate support from friends, family, and even strangers on the internet.
What do you think? Make sure to let me know down in the comments!