Why Loneliness is so common

With all of our technological advances you would think that everyone is so well connected that there could not be any more lonely people out there. This is a case where the reality is truly opposite of what we perceive. You may be able to send a message or a thought out at any time of the day or night; but having true relationships with someone takes more than a quick sentence here and there. 

People have changed the opinion they have on what it means to “relate” to one another. I have seen whole families get together and say about 10 words to each other; all of the other actions are distracting them and they are just going through the motions until they can get back to “the important” stuff they want to pay attention to. You can also hear people finish your sentences for you if you lag to long on a thought in a conversation, heaven forbid you stop for a minute to think of a word. The problem is that everyone really thinks they are good multi-tasker’s when in essence they are just overly distracted poor communicators. I agree there are some things in life you can do at the same time as other tasks; but building relationships take time and energy and give and take; not just one word sentences. 

One thing that also gets in the way of people having real relationships these days is of course the dreaded busy schedule that almost everyone is attached to. If you invite your friend or family member to a park for some quality time and then you both decide to run the whole time you are there; you may be sharing air space but you could have done that with any stranger. This also goes for the times when you are eating at a restaurant and you are all checking your phones, emails, messages, etc. You are not present in the now, you are not sharing a meal or an experience or even the other person; you could put a mannequin in the chair across from you and get just as much feedback and banter. 

I am not against all of the new technology or how people are using it; but I think that if you poll people in your life they will tell you that they “haven’t really made time for their favorite past-times with their favorite people” in a long time. I think we all feel a bit of a distance from what we want to see in our relationships; instead of being close with our near and dear loved ones; we can recite our calendar, work schedule, gym or day care schedule, or our bosses’ vacations over the next 6 months. So prioritizing it very important in the fight against loneliness because after all; you can be in an office full of people and feel lonelier than on a desert island.

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