• Ditzy

On Modern Loneliness

When we hear the word ‘loneliness’ it feels cold and desolate - like the stony touch of a radiator that hasn’t been on in a long time. If it were a sound it would be tinned audience applause seeping out of a day-time talk show on tv.

But modern loneliness has many temperatures, colours, sounds and disguises. It is more crowded and more ambient than it has ever been. And to my surprise it seems to be happening to people who I always assumed had been immunised by their youth, beauty and popularity. It’s tiny moments of disconnection that run through our day like a string of broken light bulbs. No big ‘crying in the shower’ climaxes - just little moths eating holes in the fabric of our being, leaving us shivering. It might do us all good to acknowledge how pervasive this low-level loneliness is; to give ourselves permission to openly sniff its smell…to say out loud and without shame that the life of every 20-something is puckered with loneliness of some form.



In the interests of banishing some of this shame, Ditzy has collated a few low-key but very real markers of modern millennial loneliness.


Modern Loneliness Is A Bit Like:


Gyms with no windows

Ordering deliveroo to the office at 8pm

That bit between Christmas and New Year

A terrible first date

Getting into an Uber and putting on your headphones straight away

Spotify algorithms giving you the same song suggestions over and over

Going into 24 hr off-licenses when you’re sober

Running another bath for something to do

Sitting on your work phone in bed

Texting a friend to cancel

Tuesdays

Sex with the person who wasn’t the person you really needed to see you that night

Netflix asking if you’re still watching

All your housemates being out on a Friday

Irritable phone calls with your mum

Wandering around the supermarket not knowing what you want

Avoiding the eyes of the homeless person outside your tube

Swiping Hinge on the loo

Adult sick days when you still need to do your washing and make food

Leaving the party without telling anyone

Instagram stories

Listless midweek commutes

Avoiding old school mates on the tube

Hundreds of unread group whatsapps

Cereal for dinner leaning against the kitchen counter

Opening the news and closing it again

Standing in the dressing room needing a second opinion

Looking at your feet as the delivery guy hands over your food

Opening an Amazon package not even remembering what you ordered

Praying your colleague won’t start a conversation with you at the sink in the girl’s loos

Listening for your flatmate to leave the kitchen before you go in

Scrolling and scrolling and scrolling down your newsfeed to avoid going to sleep

Having no idea what your neighbours are called

Putting on a podcast then realising ten minutes later you haven’t heard a word of it

Sirens outside your bedroom window late at night

Christmas parties when all you want to do is go home and sleep

348 unread emails

Eating a Pret sandwich standing up

Realising your boyfriend doesn’t really get your sense of humour

The City on the weekend


Written and illustrated by Jess Bird

Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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