Why do young people feel so lonely? Listen to 6 Minute English

Why do young people feel so lonely? Listen to 6 Minute English


Neil: Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I’m Neil. Sam: And I’m Sam. Neil: And we are sitting here in New Broadcasting House, in the middle of London. Would you say, Sam, that this is an isolated place? Sam: Oh no, not at all. Isolated means far away from other places and people. Neil: Does that mean then, do you think, that you can’t be lonely here, with all these people around and all these things to do? Sam: Ah, good question. Can you be lonely in a crowd? Yes, of course, I think you can be because being lonely isn’t about physical isolation. I think you can be lonely anywhere if you feel that you are disconnected from the world around you, if you feel that no one understands you. If you are living happily in isolation in The Scottish Highlands, for example, I’m sure you could feel lonely if you came here to London. Neil: Well, loneliness is today’s topic. The BBC has just completed a big survey about it which we will learn more about shortly. But first, of course, a question: Where is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet – by which I mean the place furthest away from anywhere else with the fewest people living there. Is it: a) McMurdo Station in Antarctica, b) Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, or is it c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic? What do you think, Sam? Sam: I’ve got absolutely no idea, so this is just a guess – I think it’s the one in Antarctica. I’m going to go with that. Neil: Well, we’ll have the answer later on in the programme. Loneliness is seen as a big problem for the mental health of the population, so much so that the British government has a minister for loneliness. But which age group suffers most from loneliness. Here is a BBC report about the research. James Gallagher, BBC reporter: There is a common stereotype that loneliness affects only the old and the isolated. It does, but this experiment also shows that loneliness is felt throughout life. People aged between 16 and 24 experience loneliness more often and more intensely than any other age group. Neil: So according to the research, Sam, which section of society is most affected by loneliness? Sam: This might be a surprise, but it’s 16 to 24 year olds. Neil: I was surprised by that because like many, I would’ve guessed that it was older people. Sam: The reporter did say that that was a stereotype. A stereotype is nothing to do with stereo music, but it’s the noun we use to describe a very simple and basic judgement of someone and their character and personality based on their age, nationality, profession and so on. So a stereotype of British people is that we can’t cook, we have bad teeth, we are very reserved and never say what we mean. Neil: I don’t know what you mean, my cooking is wonderful, Sam. And the stereotype is that old people get lonely. Sam: Much like the stereotypes of British people, this may be true in some cases – I’ve eaten some of your home-cooked meals remember, Neil – but it’s not true for the majority. It is young people who feel lonely more often and more intensely. Intensely here means strongly. The feeling of loneliness is stronger in young people than older people. Neil: The reporter goes on to give some explanation for why young people might be more lonely. James Gallagher, BBC reporter: Researchers from the University of Manchester who analysed the data, suggested feeling lonely may plague the young because it’s a time of identity change. Figuring out your place in the world and of learning to regulate emotions. Neil: He says that feeling lonely may plague young people, what does he mean there? Sam: If you are plagued by something, it means that it troubles you, it bothers you and not just once, it’s something that happens continually or repeatedly. Neil: And he says this may be because at that age we are still figuring out our place in the world. We are trying to understand the world and what we are supposed to do with our lives. Sam: He also suggests that younger people have not yet learned how to regulate their emotions, which is another way of saying to control their emotions. Neil: Right. Time to review this week’s vocabulary, but before that let’s have the answer to the quiz. I asked: Where is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet? Is it: a) McMurdo Station in Antarctica, b) Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert or c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic? What did you say, Sam? Sam: I said a). Neil: Well, I’m afraid to say the answer is actually c) the island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. It has a population of fewer than 300 and it’s only accessible by a 6-day voyage by ship from South Africa. Sam: So not a popular place for a weekend break! Neil: Indeed not. Now it’s time for a recap of our vocabulary. The first word was isolated, which Tristan da Cunha certainly is. It means far away from other place and people. Sam: Then there was stereotype the noun for a simplistic view of person or group based on their nationality, age, profession and the like. Neil: Intensely means strongly. Sam: Being plagued by something means it causes you problems and difficulties. Neil: If you are trying to figure something out, you are trying to understand it. Sam: And to regulate something means to control it. Neil: Well, sadly, that’s the end of the programme. Hopefully you won’t feel too lonely without us, remember we are always here on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, our App and of course the website bbclearningenglish.com. See you soon. Goodbye. Sam: Bye!

100 thoughts on “Why do young people feel so lonely? Listen to 6 Minute English

  1. I don't think 16 to 23 years old feel lonely for ex I am in 22 but I don't feel lonely b/c so many stiff to do any single time.

  2. Hey guys I want to learn english
    And I need someone for practice my english …thanks my brothers ( I know that I have a lot of mistaks * sorry* )

  3. Thank you for talking and discussing about loneliness. Personally, I find it exceedingly vital to tackle this issue. If it's not taken care of or managed, it might bring upon onset of depression which I think is a silent killer.
    Thank you, BBC.

  4. BBC Learning English is the best! I enjoy so much of your conversations! Because they are funny, in pure English and about daily topics. Thanks, great thanks!

  5. Sometimes I don't dislike when being alone ,because I can do anything freely without thinking of others.
    On the other hand, sometimes I feel lonely when being alone,especially at night.
    What is this emotion?? I want to cut to the feeling♪

  6. I feel you are all my family I really feel relaxed listening to you. I have just one awesome son sometimes we both feel lonely. 😢

  7. I'm a Vietnamese and I'm studying English to prepare my study abroad in the U.S . when I stared at University I broke off every things about my friends in high school . I believe that good for me in my life But …… I guess I'm wrong

  8. I wanted to practice my English with anyone from any country other than India on Skype! Intrested one's let me know!

  9. All my problem just listening. I am able to speak. I watch foreign tv series and movies their speaking is too different.

  10. in the video, sam mentioned the phrase “have bad teeth” is that an idiom? if it is, so, what does that mean?

  11. being alone in islolated place is the best way to figure out how to improve your self. success can be a lonely road

  12. when u feel lonely, u should watch this video and read all the comments, u'll realise that u have a group of people with the same feeling, so that u won't be lonely anymore 😂😂

  13. Thanks God, I am not suffering any kind of loneliness whatsoever, even though currently I am at the age of 16

  14. the video talkes about lonely sometimes everybody feels isolation because some reason physical or emotional reason

  15. I had no friends at school or out of school. Was shy and did not need friends. Had my parents and my brother! Even now I am happy to be alone! My mother suffered dreadfully by feeling lonely. But she had problems! Agoraphobia and anxiety! And the loneliest place would be the Kermadecs in the Pacific ocean.

  16. In my view, it is an individual issue. We can't just lump everyone.Statistics are one of the ways to manipulate and make us that we don't have our seperated opinion about something. Surveys don't involve everyone. We can't have an opinion about everyone if we only look at few people who were surveyed before. Maybe it could seem pointless and ridiculous if we asked everyone in the world if they felt lonely or not, but at least, we would be more certain that our analysis and statistics had more accurate data.

  17. Most of us feel alone and isolated! But i think it is not a problem! The problem is we can not learn feeling happy whatever we are…

  18. Shall we say 'I've got absolutely no idea.' OR ' I've absolutely got no idea.' Is absolutely an adverb? Thank you.

  19. Sometimes I find that being alone is not so bad cuz' I can do everything absolutely freely and I really enjoy it. I also like being at a café alone and focus on my work.Being lonely for me just only when you're in the crowd and you have to talk to the others but feel disconnected and don't know what to say.

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