Since the dawn of the internet, and later, the several forms of social media, our world is closer than ever. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of knowing people everywhere and being able to stay in touch with friends over the miles.
So, why do I still get lonely?
I am missing those closer conversations…the ones where we make an effort, but really no effort at all.
It feels all my relationships have been reduced to what I did, what they did, or what other people are doing. There is so much doing or talking about, it wears me out thinking about it.
I’ve also become aware of the risk attached to this as it is an instant invitation for us to compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing…and figuring out whether we even measure up. We make these great assumptions that everyone else is doing much better than we are – I mean, just look at their Facebook posts and pictures – or that they are not doing so great, so that must mean we are doing okay.
I am as guilty as anyone about having these conversations, but I’m noticing…I feel empty inside.
Recently, when I asked a friend how things were going at a new job and place to live, her answer surprised me. The job was okay, the place okay too, but it was not great and there were some issues. I had sincerely asked the question, but had become so accustomed to standard answers that when she answered me with honesty, it felt completely refreshing. It was as though something inside of me woke up.
I’ve been craving those honest conversations. Those ones when you can answer how you are really feeling when someone asks.
Our virtually connected world has benefitted me, as with many others, in so many ways. But it can also be the cause of my loneliness.
I want more than a status update from my “friends.” I want to be able to have face-to-face talks with them and be honest about what is going on in my life and for them to do the same. I want to feel a connection.
I believe others might want or need this too. If you pay attention to posts and shares nowadays, many are consumed with inspirational quotes or feel good videos. We want to say this is how we want to live, but very few are actually living it. I get tired of the posts with the quotes – do they even know what the words mean?
When I speak with clients, I often ask them what values are important for them to live by. There are many common responses such as respect, trust, loyalty, love…but when I ask them what these words mean and how they live by them, the responses slow down. These are pretty big words that we tend to have more confidence saying than understanding.
We all want trusting and loving relationships without necessarily doing the work to get there. Those relationships take time and start with a strong foundation.
I am worried our virtual closeness is causing us to be more distant.
I am worried we are isolating ourselves while craving connections.
I feel for me, this is about missing a deeper connection, but also from a more global perspective…the one of everyone else in the world flailing from not even realizing they miss this.
And, instead, turn to the words without the meaning.
We form the attachment and miss the connection.