Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at “blogging”. I am just going to ramble, so all you “purist” out there from a writer’s standpoint can go read Politico or something.
What is loneliness?
Is loneliness sitting in front of a computer screen waiting for an instant message to pop up while googling and surfing YouTube? Can loneliness be just being at an event surrounded by thirty “friends” and acquaintances laughing and engaging in small talk or digging up dirt about somebody else at the party? Or is it waiting for an email, text message or phone call (we still make those?) to come, while twiddling our thumbs and acting like we are busy? Is loneliness being excited and yearning to share a idea or an experience, but that special someone just isn’t there or does not appear to even exist at the moment?
Let’s travel back in time for moment… What did humans do before the internet, Zanax (don’t know how to spell that) and cell phones? Who did they go rambling off to? Their neighbors or just some “innocent bystander” who happen to pass by? Why do I sometimes feel like the deeper I dig inside the matrix-like web of these so-called social networks, the more I tend to feel lonely. I feel more connected to the world taking a walk in the city or around the lake, even when I do so by myself. I still don’t understand what the actual draw of these gadgets and technological innovation comes from. Although, sub-consciously I do. It’s another form of escape, it’s another distraction, another way to forget and numb our pain, our fears (failure, rejection, loss, inadequacies) and our stress. Through these networks made up of trillions of 1s and 0s (binary code, if that’s still what’s used to make these machines run), an extension of ourselves is born and strives to establish a “false” sense of control in this digital environment. Much like we do in public, we build up walls (acquaintances, circles, inner circles, blocked users, close friends… etc), hoping to find what we seek soon to realize the grass isn’t green on that side.
Let me specify that being alone and being loneliness are two very different state of minds. Being able to be alone in my view is important in the human experience. You learn and grow a lot when faced with only yourself to “deal” with. Many people dread even going one day without some sort of human contact. Loneliness is something opposite, because people who may appear to have vibrant and burgeoning social lives can tell you they are in fact very lonely. That loneliness makes them in fact modify their life around their social circle, convincing themselves that being around more people, having more contacts, getting invited to more functions and getting their peer’s approval will somehow make them “feel” more “whole” as a person…. We have to “look” the part, talk, walk the part, be up on the latest news and shows pertaining to our “click” to remain “in the mix”. Can loneliness be a manifestation of pure “fear”? The miracle this human machine does every day to turn itself on and wake itself from sleep has us going lengths and jumping through hoops to prove our worth everyday. We are human beings, but still seem to have a problem living up to our names… “beings”. Why can’t we just be? why won’t our mind let us just be? That is one of life’s many mysteries I guess.
Silence is golden and necessary for growth. These gadgets create a lot noise in our mind, not always audible to the human ear. Much like we fast to cleanse of system. Maybe a technological fast is in order. Next time you chat, text or call someone, decide on a street corner, meet up and continue that talk in person. Or simply disconnect and take a walk by yourself….. Listen to sound of your footsteps, they may tell you more than those miscellaneous chats you’ve been having lately. Destroy that wall we’ve all built around us and surrender to life for a day. Allow life to embrace you.
Love is love