I recently read a newspaper article detailing how today’s society is reporting many more people feeling lonely than ever before. I find it hard to believe that people feel so lonely in a time where we are more connected than ever. You can find your niche and people with the touch of the keyboard. Mobile phones, social media, and the internet allow us to be in touch with others like no other time in history, so why is that we are reporting more loneliness? Many say it’s because we’re having more superficial interactions with others, but no one quite knows how to deal with it. Here’s a thought: stop being superficial. That’s probably harder than you think, though.
The reality is that we live in a society that prizes success and as such, many shy away from speaking about what has gone wrong in their lives. We build our social medias to portray the best that we have to offer, rarely speaking of what is really lurking behind the mask. It is expected that we put our best foot forward. When someone asks how your day is going, the correct response is ‘good,’ no matter if it is or not. We expect only to hear about the good things from others and they start to show only the success they’ve had in their life, which causes a rift between reality and polite niceties that are required. What is happening is that we are not having authentic connections with each other because we expect each other to always be positive. When we filter our conversations, our pictures, and our posts, we filter our authenticity.
Loneliness can occur from many things such as moving somewhere new or having someone leave our lives that we were once close to, but there is a different kind of loneliness that is creeping into our lives in the present day. It leaves us unsatisfied with ourselves and with who we are, so we seek it out in the outside world, never realizing we can’t fill the hole that is within us. We’ve learned to politely lie so well to the world that we have begun lying to ourselves. We crave success and acceptance so much that we forgo our failures. Failure is what can bring you to authenticity. When you speak about your failure, you become vulnerable and allow others to become vulnerable as well. They then allow themselves to speak about their failures and connect with you. You can always strive to reach success, but you must connect with failure, for that’s when we are truly authentic: when we have nothing left to lose.