Politics

How online platform Only Friends is creating a ‘friendship village’ and connecting young people in lockdown


A recent report from Headspace has revealed that half of young Australians in their 20s and 30s feel lonely, isolated and also feel a lack of companionship.

To help combat the loneliness epidemic, media personality Mel Greig has become an ambassador for new online platform Only Friends.

Described as a “friendship village” the platform allows members to get together in real life – when lockdown lifts – or online, to offer encouragement, support, and share mutual interests.

Watch Mel Greig explain how lonely young Aussies can make new friends in the video player above

Mel Greig joined The Morning Show from the Gold Coast to explain how the platform was strictly about developing friendships – not romance.

“If you go on this platform you’re not going to have any ‘kissy-kissy’ no dating, this is friendship only and creating connections,” she said.

“And because it’s designed for people in their 20s and 30s it’s quite a cool concept. As well as the face-to-face catch-ups that we actually organise for you, if you’re in lockdown there’s virtual group catch-ups so all members need to do is hit RSVP and join in,” Greig said.

Greig revealed she was attracted to the idea of Only Friends after having previously dealt with her own “mental health demise”.

“Before the pandemic … I had to go into isolation for three to six months, and I know what I went through then is what a lot of people are going through now. And the problem is no one prepared anybody for what isolation truly means.

“You’ve been social, you’ve been connected, and all of a sudden all of that is taken away from you and you’re left in the one space with your own thoughts,” Greig explained.

“And the longer you’re in lockdown, the longer you’re isolated, the darker your thoughts get, and that’s when it becomes dangerous. That’s when the mental health conditions start to evolve, that’s when you become withdrawn.”

Greig also explained the platform’s code of conduct includes a rule, “I think you guys will like this, and I’ll use a word to rhyme with it, there’s a no ‘hick’ policy.

“So if you are a ‘hick’ on this platform, you will be given the flick. So it’s a safe, positive place.”



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