The Critical Experience Missing From Millennials’ Lives Is Depressing Them

Connecting with others is what makes us human. Sharing love, laughter, and even coffee with our neighbors is what binds us together. Whether you’re in the park, the library, or a cafe, these common areas are essential for connecting with others.

In European countries, a cafe or coffee shop is always part of the community to promote these interactions. Otherwise known as a third place, these spaces provide valuable room for us to interact.

Millennials are increasingly depressed because they fail to find community.

For Americans seeking a similar sense of community, there are often unmistakable obstacles. In many European countries, the average price of a coffee is around 1 to 3 euros, but in the United States, prices are less accessible.

This is exactly the problem travel influencer Jimmy Sweeney talked about on TikTok. Americans face a higher barrier to entry in many potential third places that make it easier to go home rather than interact with others in a shared space.

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While America’s older generations can use outdoor parks or coffee shops with lower prices, millennials and Gen Zers don’t have the same luxury. That means they spend more time at home when they are not at work.

A 2018 study on socializing showed that individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 spent nearly 70% more time at home than other older generations.

Third places provide safe, welcoming, and accessible places for community building and social interaction.

There is more to third places and their social significance than their separation of work and home. Isabella Segalovich shares Ray Oldenberg’s original meaning to add context to a larger conversation.

Not only are third places separate from work and home, but they are also neutral spaces where socioeconomic statuses are not measured, environments are welcoming, and conversation is celebrated. According to Oldenberg, these spaces are the anchors of our communities.

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