Lonley Brits spend a total of one month every year watching TV on their own, a study has revealed.
Two-thirds (62%) of lonely people put the TV on for company, 31% put the radio on, and 27% speak to the dog or cat. Sadly even 7% even ask Alexa or Siri a question for a bit of electronic friendship.
New research by Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, show that almost half of the adults in Britain say that they are lonely and 41% say that they feel most lonely in the evenings when they get home from work.
The average Brit sits alone in front of the box for 3hrs 30mins every day, compared to just two hours spending time with friends or family. People aged between 25-45 on average socialise for an average of 3 hours and 20 minutes.
A quarter of the respondents polled would like to socialise more, two thirds (66%) are happy with the amount they do, and 4% said they would like to socialise less in a typical day. Women are more likely to want to socialise more with 27% compared to 22% men.
Younger people are more likely to want to socialise (41%) than older people (20%), and over a third (34%) of single people would want to interact more, as do 40% of parents with children under 5 years old.
On average, British people have five close friends whom they feel close enough to discuss personal issues. Those aged between 25-34 have an average of seven. Almost a fifth of older people say they have no close friends or just the one if that!
Amanda Watkin, General Secretary for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “How sad that loneliness is so prevalent in these modern times. No one should have to spend so much time alone in front of the TV or feel they need to chat to Alexa or Siri for company. People seem to be losing the art of socialising with each other and relying on technology instead. That’s why we’re encouraging people to seek out new groups or volunteering opportunities as a way to meet new people and have the opportunity to socialise within their local community.”
A third (34%) of respondents feel close to their mothers, yet only a fifth (22%) feel close to their fathers. Men (25%) are more likely to feel close to their dads than women do (19%). 40% feel close to their siblings, 62% with their partners and 26% with their work colleagues. Other responses came in with college or school friends (20%), neighbours (15%) or through playing sports (8%).
8% of the respondents say that they don’t have any close friends. Of those who do, 16% see them daily and 49% see them on a weekly basis. A further fifth (20%) see their close friends monthly, whilst 16% see them less frequently.
47% of respondents speak to their close friends in person, a third (33%) tend to contact them most frequently via text message and 11% tend to call them.
15% of respondents see texting as a better form of communication than speaking to someone and 30% view sending photos (e.g. Snapchat) to be a good form of communicating. A quarter (24%) of those surveyed see a voice call as a better means of conversation than having a face to face conversation. Half (49%) regards this method as the same as speaking in person.
Almost half (47%) of those surveyed say that they tend to feel lonely. 6% are lonely all the time, 14% say they often feel lonely and 27% sometimes get lonely. Londoners are most likely to feel lonely, with a tenth (11%) of respondents feel lonely all of the time and a further 21% often feeling lonely.
Evenings are the time when the most people feel lonely, 41% of people said that this feeling descends when they are alone in the evening. 14% of those surveyed have gone to the shops for the sake of getting out and have a conversation with someone, 6% have gone to the GP for the same reason, and 6% have ordered post just to chat to the postman!
19% of respondents say they often find themselves playing with their phones and ignoring the people around them.