This is the way I started a video I shot on my iPhone on Sunday. Which has now been viewed over 11 thousand times by Canberrans. When I made it, I had no idea how much noise it would make.
The video is about having no friends in Canberra. How hard it is to find friends as an adult, and how lonely and isolated I feel on the weekends.
Anyone else finding it hard?
Posted by Hit104.7 on Saturday, March 5, 2016
I also asked people who are friendless and lonely to contact me – my idea was, that even if it is/feels awkward at first, at least we would be hanging out together doing something. Much better than being sad and alone.
Admittedly, I have only lived in Canberra for just over two months, but I have found myself getting anxious about the weekends. As soon as I finish work on Friday I go, “Uh oh, two days alone… What am I going to do to fill in the time?!”. There is only so much time you can spend with your own mind, watching TV and flicking between the same four social media apps.
So, I shared this video on Facebook and then discussed it on-air Monday morning and the response has been exceptional.
Over 415 inboxes to myself individually and to the station page. When I mentioned it on-air, our phone lines rang from 8am through till 9am. Every one of them saying the same thing. “I have no friends in Canberra either”.
Here are some of the comments we received:
“… it’s really hard being alone on the weekends. I have tried making friends at work but everyone already seems to have their clique.”
“I just heard you on radio talking about the difficulties of finding friendships in Canberra and almost started crying. I’ve been here for 7 years now and I don’t have any friends.”
“Hi Tanya! I have lived in Canberra for 2 years we moved here for hubby’s work and I have found it so difficult to make friends, so totally get you. I spend most of my time on Netflix…its great but it doesn’t talk back.”
“I hate the weekends too. I have no friends either! I moved here 4 years ago and I can’t break into a friendship group or make new friends… I’ve given up trying”.
THIS IS A THING! So many people live in Canberra with no friends/social life and I just didn’t realise how many people aren’t doing anything socially in Canberra because they don’t have any friends.
I guess, I should have realised that Canberra is a transient place. I believe over 25% of the population are here for work or university which results in people moving into a new town, generally alone.
It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone, but it’s also really sad to think so many people are feeling isolated in such a vibrant city.
The solution? Well, this weekend we are going on a mass friend date. Lots of people are going to come along alone and meet someone new. Hopefully many friendships will develop.
I’m nervous. Like. Really nervous. (I think a lot of people think that because I work in radio I’m super confident, but I’m not in every aspect of life).
Meeting new people is scary, but I don’t want to keep avoiding Canberra events because I don’t want to go alone.
I’m going to jump in at the deep end and hopefully we will all leave the night with someone to have Sunday brunch with. If not, it will be great to have plans on a Friday night. For once.
Check out the Hit 104.7 Facebook page for more information about Tanya’s friends meet up.
Tanya Hennessy does Breakfast with Ryan Jon on hit104.7 in Canberra.
This story originally appeared on HerCanberra.com and has been republished with thanks to Tanya.