How to Combat Loneliness | Serendip App Collab
About two years ago I wrote an article for Huffington Post about loneliness. It was featured on their website during Mental Health week in 2018 and still gets picked up by readers and companies today.
I regularly receive emails from readers thanking me for sharing my experience online, and also for reminding them that they’re not alone. I also get contacted brands and companies asking me to offer my opinion and stories about loneliness to help others. Something I am very open to doing.
Like the irony of dyslexia being the term for difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and how they relate to letters and words, loneliness is often the forgotten feeling when it comes to mental health. As we open up more and more about mental health, we seem to forget the debilitating effects that loneliness can have on a person, and how common it is to experience.
During lockdown, loneliness sprang to the forefront of many millennial mental health problems. But there are solutions and ways to tackle this truly awful feeling when it arises.
How to defeat loneliness
A new app was launched five months ago called Serendip specifically to target people who are feeling lonely and help them to connect with others in a similar situation.
Due to lockdown, many relationships dissolved naturally, and as social distancing measure persist people are desperately in need of new ways to meaningfully connect with new people.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the death of dating in 2020, but what the death of new friendships and community?
It is essential that we get talking, be it about mental health or simple to strengthen our mental health. Many people have started up running and going on long walks during lockdown to get out the house, so why don’t you sign up to a new social app in order to take care of your mental health as well?
What Serendip had to say about their new app:
Loneliness is the disease of our generation – no one deserves to be alone. It’s shocking to learn that one in five millennials have zero friends, that’s right, zero friends. That was before the COVID-19 crisis had even started.
It’s a shocking figure. While I’ve been lucky in that I never been without a friend and I have a very supportive family, I’ve still felt lonely though.
In 2018, when I wrote the piece for Huffington Post, I felt I had no where to turn. I was new to the city of London and living with my best friend, but we were falling out by being in such close proximity all the time. My family was undergoing struggles medical issues throughout the wider family, so much so that I felt I couldn’t burden them with my feelings. And I’d just started a new job, but was failing to meet my targets (likely due to stress) and felt extremely alienated from my team.
I turned to my GP for help and was offered counselling, which I was greatly appreciative for. This experience allowed me to get back on my feet and make decision which ultimately helped me to alleviate some, if not all of my loneliness, over time.
But I didn’t have an app like Serendip to turn to. I had to enter my discomfort zone, network and force myself into situations where I felt like I was unwelcome in order to overcome my loneliness. If Serendip had been around, I might have been able to start breaking down the pain of loneliness much sooner.
How can Serendip help you connect with others?
If you’re like me and live in London, or another city, you’re likely aware of the irony that the most densely populated places are usually the less intimate and isolated.
Many of us are already turning to social media to network and connect with people, in order to have some sort of daily interaction even if it’s with strangers online. Social media was a godsend during lockdown as it gave us a leg up to stay in touch with our nearest and dearest. But how many additional friends or acquaintances did you make?
Serendip launched in late May 2020 and this is how it works:
The app connects you to people nearby with whom you share similar values. This is done with an initial Insight Quiz, followed by interesting ice-breakers and questions that will appear on the users’ profile. These range from statements such as ‘three causes I am passionate about’ to sharing a personal memory such as ‘what I enjoyed most about my childhood was’.
Like other social apps, your profile includes your profile picture but the idea is not to let your physical attributes define you, just to allow the people you connect with you know that you are not a robot.
That’s all there is to it. A truly social app, designed to help you open up and connect over pontificate or show off your amazing life.
Facts & Figures
The app launched 5 months ago and has already acquired thousands of users in the UK and USA. It’s growing rapidly at 10% week-on-week, with the app becoming one of the fastest growing friendship apps in London, where word-of-mouth is already spreading (admittedly from behinds masks).
Serendip has already facilitated more than 50,000 introductions between new friends and acquaintances, and this is set to quadruple by Christmas.
So if you’ve ever felt lonely, or could do with some gentle interaction with a new person – be it to create a long-lasting friendship or simply to talk to someone new – why not try it out?
I’ve downloaded it and I think it’s a great idea. After all, to quote my Huffington Post piece (yes, I know how bougie this is!)
Links to Serendip
Feel free to play around the app here:
If you do download the app let me know in the comments below. I’d love to connect with some new people, and to help others defeat loneliness whenever I can.