Friday, June 27, 2014

The Innovation of Loneliness

Watch this:

I came across the above video ironically on my Facebook mini-feed.  I'm going to go ahead and forego the skepticism I typically display when viewing statistical findings (Polling a small portion of the population and using that as a basis for the entire population?  Um, no thanks.) and humor the content in this video because,
1. It's fascinating
2. It's my blog and I do what I want 
(Ten points to you if you read that in Cartman's "whateva whateva I do what I want" voice.)

I feel like I have discussed this feeling with so many different people at varying times in my life.  All of them different people, in different seasons and life stages, with varying world views- yet, they/we all suffered from a common ailment: loneliness.  In an age of Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter, etc etc-- they all (myself included) have asked the same million-dollar question: How can I be lonely when I have so many different ways to keep in touch with people?

This video really highlights the answer to that million dollar question: we are building a ton of surface relationships and not going any deeper than that.  It's when you dive into the depths (and heaven forbid, actually get to know someone so well that they can sometimes disappoint you or say things that may even upset you) with people that true connections are made.  The kind of connections that make you feel like maybe you aren't so alone in this world.

If people are becoming the edited versions of themselves (the instant message & texting conversations, the tweets, the status updates, the carefully selected filtered profile photo) that they carefully present to the world- you get a glossed over version of the real person.  You don't see them when they are run down, or sad, or contemplating upping their dose of Zoloft because suddenly they are feeling a little weird again.

When we step away from the screens, it becomes scary.  There are no filters in real life, and even if you wear a mask, at some point, it will slip from your face: exposing the real you.  And heaven forbid if someone doesn't approve of the real you.  It's one thing if you're removed from someone's friends list-- but to be ignored in real life- that can burn.  And who wants to willingly step into the line of fire?

But, the fact remains that if you are lonely it's because too much of your connections of surface.

Unless we go out of our way to dive below the surface, striping down to our birthday suit to go skinny dipping in that murky undercurrent with people, we will continue to be lonely because we aren't truly connecting.  Even the self-proclaimed hipster "I hate everyone" person (you know the type, or maybe you're the type, I used to be the type) needs real connection.  It is our human nature.

So, I guess what I'm proposing is this: let's all put ourselves out there a little more, okay?  Let that freak flag fly without the worry that maybe the flag would look a little cooler with an Instagram filter applied- because, baby, you're beautiful and I want to get to know the real you.

1 comment:

  1. I think the worst kind of loneliness is when you are surrounded by other people--it just seems to drive the point home in a way that being alone doesn't.


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