Okay, here it comes! Are you ready to read about what you already know? It might make you a bit uncomfortable, but I am strong and so are you…………here goes.
Loneliness is more pervasive than ever, but how can that be when we have so many “friends”. We spend enormous amounts of time watching people’s lives unfold on Facebook. We know who is pregnant, where people celebrated their birthdays and with whom they vacation, even to the detail of what they had for dinner. These, however, is NOT real meaningful connection. There I wrote it in black and white.
Take the time today to watch yourself. Take note of your daily habits and how much time you spend in front of a screen (big or little in this case really does matter!) An even more frightening exercise would be to watch your children and take note of how much time they spend gazing at a screen and not learning all the social cues required to have personal relationships.
I am not easily shocked but recently had two observations blow my socks off! The first was to watch a young couple sitting next to each other for over an hour. Both never looked in the other’s eyes but were glued to their phones. Yikes, I saw no connection or intimacy in this interaction.
The second was watching a mother and her sister instruct a 1-year-old on how to watch a video at their lunch table. The child kept trying to listen to them, watch and learn from them, and they kept coaching him to look back at the screen. Scary, this caused me to look around in the metro, at cafes, even at high-end restaurants. People on the street plugged into music don’t even acknowledge or greet each other. Everywhere I go I see a rampant human disconnect.
I want to take a quiet stroll with a caring friend and talk about my life (sounds like a scene from a Victorian movie). I need this, I crave it, I insist on it with my friends and family AND when I do I see they appreciate the quiet time as well.
I like to laugh frequently with those I love and even chuckle just watching them laugh. These are gifts of being in proximity to actual human beings. My heart lights up when I hear a friend describe the goofy activities of their beloved child, and alternately I am strong enough to sit with the sadness of friend who has lost a loved one. It connects us to share personally life’s triumphs and defeats.
I don’t feel alone when I allow myself to be open to people. I do, however, feel very alone when it is just me and my computer.