(Vice) At the beginning of 2022, a TikTok video of a tearful woman talking about friendship and loneliness made the rounds on Twitter. “I have people who love me and who care about me but it was so clear that I’m a Tier 2 or a Tier 3 friend and that resulted in me having to spend the last two years literally alone [during lockdown],” she says. “I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what did I do in my life that resulted in me being so lonely right now… I thought that I had cultivated a stronger community.”
Twitter users were split. “Thinking of anyone going through this. I’ll be your friend,” writes one. “Grow up and go meet people,” says another. “The friends you make are contingent on your actions and the energy you give. The real question is what type of friend were you?” Although the reactions varied dramatically in scope, it’s undeniable that friendship and loneliness were put under the microscope thanks to the pandemic. Two years on from the start of lockdown measures, 30 percent of young people say they don’t know how to make new friends and they’ve never felt more alone, according to a study by the Prince’s Trust.