AI: A New Confidant for Lonely Millennials?

In this post:

  • 61% of millennials report weekly loneliness, turning to AI for emotional support over human interaction.
  • AI in mental health: a promising but cautious path. 70% of 25-34 year-olds open to AI therapy. 
  • Online tools like games and live chats are key for millennial mental well-being, with 33% preferring games for support.

The University of Law (ULaw) has recently released concerning statistics about the loneliness epidemic among millennials. An alarming 61% of individuals aged 25-34 feel lonely at least weekly, which is almost triple the rate of those 65 and older and significantly above the national average. In a bid to combat this issue, millennials are increasingly turning to technology for solace.

Millennials opt for AI over humans for emotional support

In an unexpected twist, two-thirds of millennials have expressed a preference for discussing their feelings with Artificial Intelligence rather than with loved ones. This revelation has sparked debates about the changing dynamics of human interaction and the role technology plays in our emotional lives.

The role of AI and online communities

Dr. Julie Prescott, Head of Psychology at ULaw, suggests that technology, particularly AI, could be a game-changer in addressing mental health needs. She references a 2021 study that illustrates the beneficial role of social media groups in providing emotional support. AI is seen as an extension of these online resources, offering a private space for individuals to express their feelings without fear of judgment.

The growing trust in AI for mental health support

The findings from ULaw indicate a strong inclination towards automated support, with 36% of people favoring a ChatBot over a loved one for sharing emotions. This percentage jumps among the 25-34 age group, where 70% would seek mental health support through AI if available.

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