Does it strike you as ironic that the more advanced we become by the way of technology, the further away we get with each other? I mean, why go to the store and buy stationary and a stamp, come back home, write a letter then go all the way to the Post Office Box to post it, when we can just sit at home and send an email and touch no one and nothing other than our computers?
Let me guess…some of your closest friends are on your facebook page right? But whether you have twitter or facebook or some other social network…think about how many of those people you have actually “met”
It seems that we aren’t connecting with each other because it’s easier not to. There has even been studies conducted that show that we don’t even have the same quantity or quality of friendships that we use to. Think about it, how many times have you turned down an invitation to go catch a movie and have dinner and opted for cable and take out (or deliver in) …alone? Instead of going to spend that “quality” time with a friend for their birthday, we send e-cards and e-mails, instant messages and tweets saying “happy birthday…enjoy your day”. We even use caller ID as a way to avoid those friends that call to remind us that we haven’t been out in a while.
It really shouldn’t be a surprise why we are the way we are; Disconnected, unattached, and impatient. Not to mention not very understanding or tolerable about people or things that are different. Loneliness use to be something we associated with the elderly. Not anymore. Our children are lonely because their parents have to work more to keep up with the Jones’.
Our teens are lonely because they have spent more hours at home on their own computers, iPhones, watching cable TV or playing video games instead of outside making friends and learning to get along with others. When they actually make friends they spend their time in their room chatting them “online” instead of going out and actually “meeting people” and learning how to interact at a social face to face level.
As I say and write this I do realise that there again lies some irony and contradiction in what I say. The internet is a wonderful ‘tool’ to get to meet more people in a short period of time. However, it should never take the place of that one on one, face time. As humans, we long for and need to be touched…literally. There is no substitute for that. It seems to me that if we spent a little more time and effort getting to know people ourselves, instead of relying on the media to define a group, race or nationality of people, we could better judge and form our own opinions about who we want in our lives.
I mention the Internet because more than any other media, it makes us think that we are connected with the outside world when we really aren’t. We sit in our houses alone and talk to people every day we have never met and probably will never meet. When we close the lids on our laptop we are faced with the loneliness of not having anyone there….so we take our phone to bed in case we miss something.
Did you know that loneliness can increase your risk of heart disease and depression?
So, do this for me, get off the computer right now and pick up the telephone or walk out of your house and talk and touch someone today. If you have to stay on the computer then email someone and make plans to get together this week.