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  • Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • And we are sitting here in new broadcasting house, in the middle of London.

  • Would you say, Sam, that this is an isolated place?

  • Oh no, not at all. Isolated means far away from other places and people.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Well, we'll have the answer later on in the program.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • So according to the research, Sam, which section of society is most affected by loneliness?

  • This might be a surprise, but it's 16 to 24 year olds.

  • I was surprised by that because like many, I would've guessed that it was older people.

  • 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.

  • I don't know what you mean, my cooking is wonderful, Sam.

  • And the stereotype is that old people get lonely.

  • 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.

  • The feeling of loneliness is stronger in young people than older people.

  • The reporter goes on to give some explanation for why young people might be more lonely.

  • Researchers from the University of Manchester who analyzed 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.

  • He says that feeling lonely may plague young people, what does he mean there?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • So not a popular place for a weekend break!

  • 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.

  • Then there was stereotype the noun for a simplistic view of person or group based on their nationality, age, profession and the like.

  • Intensely means strongly.

  • Being plagued by something means it causes you problems and difficulties.

  • If you are trying to figure something out, you are trying to understand it.

  • And to regulate something means to control it.

  • Well, sadly, that's the end of the program.

  • 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

  • See you soon. Goodbye.

  • Bye!

Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute English, I'm Neil.

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B1 UK lonely loneliness stereotype tristan isolated people

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

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    Evangeline posted on 2019/02/28
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