Six tips to tackle loneliness
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Social skills are no different from any other skill, they require daily practice in order to perfect. But, with the influx of social media dominating our lives, we are spending less and less time practising our conversational skills, causing many of us to lose confidence in our verbal communication. According to the Office for National Statistics, 2.4 million adult British residents suffer from chronic loneliness. Similarly, sex therapist, Dr Ruth Westheimer, has argued that the loneliness faced by millennials, in particular, is a result of our reliance on social media to communicate. However, social media is supposed to be an opportunity for us to stay connected, not isolate ourselves. Therefore, here are six tips on how you can flex your social muscle, without ditching your mobile phone completely. Below are three tips on how to use social media consciously, and three tips on how to choose real life over social media. Social Media Awareness: 1. Use Snapchat to take videos of yourself talking, rather than typing out a conversation Snapchat is renowned for its ten-second videos and disappearing messages, however, since updating the app to continue recording for up to a minute, it is the perfect way to stay in contact with friends and family. If you don't have time for a phone call, but want to practice your verbal skills, then this is a quick and easy way to do it. There is still the safety-net of knowing you can delete the message and re-record it if you don't like it, but it still makes sure that you are practising your conversational skills. Plus, it is quicker than typing out a message, and just as fun as photos, due to Snapchat's selection of filters. 2. Exploit opportunities to make a phone or video call As university students, many of us are lucky to have the responsibility of staying in touch with friends and family while away. Having weekly catch-ups is a great habit to get into, as it helps you feel connected to the life that you have temporarily left behind. However, another good habit to pick up is making phone calls, especially as an alternative to text messaging. If you and a friend have been messaging consistently for over 5 minutes, then why not pick up the phone and continue the conversation that way? Much like video messages, it is quicker to communicate and provides a more direct form of human connection, even if the conversation only lasts a few minutes.
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