The important experience missing from Millennials’ lives that makes them so sad

Connecting with others is what makes us human. Sharing love, laughter and even coffee with our neighbor is what connects us. Whether you’re in a park, library, or café, these common spaces are essential for connecting with others.

In European countries, a café or coffee shop is always a part of the community to promote these interactions. Otherwise known as third spaces, these spaces provide us with important space to interact.

The Millennial generation is becoming increasingly depressed because they are failing to find community.

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

This is exactly the problem that travel influencer Jimmy Sweeney discussed on TikTok. Americans face a high barrier to entry in many potential third places, making it easier to simply go home rather than interact with others in a shared space.

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While older generations in America may have access to outdoor parks or coffee shops with lower prices, Millennials and Gen Zers do not have the same luxury. This means they spend more time at home when they are not at work.

A 2018 study on socialization showed that individuals aged 18 to 24 spend approximately 70% more time at home than other older generations.

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

There is much more to third places and their importance in society than just separation from work and home. Isabella Segalovich relayed Ray Oldenburg’s original definition to add context to a much larger conversation.

Not only are third spaces distinct from work and home, but they are also neutral spaces where socioeconomic status is not measured, the atmosphere is welcoming, and interaction is celebrated. According to Oldenburg, these places are the foundation of our communities.

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