We are able to get connected to people in any part of the world in a matter of seconds. Yet, it seems that the same power of connectivity is making us drift apart from the people near us. We are so busy creating online relationships that we actually neglect the people next to us. How did we move from having vibrant physical relationships to on-screen engagements?
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of loneliness is “being sad from being apart from people” or “being without company.” The definition is simple enough, but the condition is more complex than being in a room alone.
Let’s try to figure out why we are so disconnected and lonely in the modern world even though we have developed highly complex and advanced means of communication.
Are you listening:
If you are feeling disconnected in this connected world then ask yourself, do you have any idea what the person sitting next to or in front of you is talking about? You probably don’t have any idea because you keep checking your texts, Facebook page and tweets on your mobile device.
If you constantly feel anxious when you put down your phone or spend some time without any of your smart devices then ask yourself, why is that? Is your life only inside your phone? When and how did this happen.
Priorities and Limits:
It is very easy to disconnect from our priorities without even realizing it and it is equally easy to get caught up in our work lives, as employers and clients expect us to exert extraordinary efforts that soon become the norm.
When these efforts are no longer required, shifting your gear into a somewhat slower pace is a must, not only when there is a dire need like your children are sick or your family has given up hope on you but because living in the fast lane isn’t living a quality life.
Comparing yourself with others:
One of the major reasons we feel disconnected and lonely in this modern world is that social media encourages us to compare our lives and situations with others. From the meals your friends in an another country enjoyed to the marriage pics of your long distance relatives, sharing our personal lives on social media has led the society to feel a sense of deprivation, envy and loneliness.
- 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for notifications and messages etc. even when they don’t feel their phone ringing or vibrating.
How Can this be Fixed?
Can you relate to what you have read so far? If yes, then here are some real tips to help you manage your relationships in a better way in this highly connected world.
Start using Social media as only a tool:
If your family uses social media, it is fine to get connected but make sure that your online relationship does not take over the relationship in the physical world.
Develop or continue Hobbies:
In the good old days, people used to have a vast range of interesting hobbies but the modern times have all but replaced these interests with entertainment outlets like YouTube, Instagram etc. When tempted to entertain yourself through your mobile device, fight the temptation and try to find some fun hobbies that you can do with your family and friends.
Enhance or acquire new skills:
Learn some skill building courses like pottery making, baking, sewing, gardening etc. Or try to learn a new useful language.
Activities and sports:
Instead of spending hours and hours in front of your laptop, which will badly effect your physical health, try some indoor and outdoor activities suitable for you. These activities can range from something as small as jumping rope at home to going for a swim in your local gym pool, the possibilities are endless.
“We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.” Steve Jobs