Mark Gaisford posted the now-viral LinkedIn video to bring awareness to the fact that many men around the world do not have close friends, particularly relationships with other men.
“I have no friends,” Gaisford says in the opening of the video. “It’s a scary thing to admit that.”
“I know a lot of people, but it’s mostly through networking and work,” he added.
Gaisford said he enjoys the time he spends with co-workers, but he doesn’t do the things one does with friends when he’s with colleagues.
“I don’t take them out for dinner and I don’t go on long country walks with them,” he explained, adding: “It’s not just me who’s got no friends.”
The video goes on to claim that 18 percent of men do not have a close friend and 32 percent have no one they consider to be a best friend. It also cited a news article that said “male bonding is more likely to lower a man’s stress levels than a night out with his partner, or time spent with the family.”
Gaisford decided to join a meet-up group at a pub, where men can come together and socialize.
“I’m a bit nervous … I don’t know anybody coming,” he said.
After leaving the pub, Gaisford said that he had a great evening and enjoyed his time with a “brilliant group of people.”
“You’ve got the quiet ones, you’ve got the confident ones, but really good fun. I’m so glad I got off my backside and got a bit of guts and went and did something like that,” he said.
“I wouldn’t call them necessarily friends yet. But I hope they will be in future,” he added.
Gaisford’s video appeared to resonate with many people online.
“Well done on making this. I’ve shared with some other men and it’s really helped getting us to talk about this subject,” a YouTuber commented. “Well done on getting out there and talking publicly.”
“Let’s be lonely together!” another said.
Gaisford said he’s since received messages from around the world, and believes his video struck a chord because loneliness is something that is experienced globally.
He recommended that people go out of their way to find socializing groups online, according to RTE News.
“You’ve got to be a little bit brave. I think you’ve got to put yourself out there,” he said.