The Impossibility of Loneliness

National Womens' Health Week

As we’re heading toward the end of National Women’s Health Week, we hope you have taken some time out for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. We hope you also learned something about what your needs are and how you can help yourself every day live a more stress-free life!

One of the coping techniques that have been backed up with plenty of research is that friends are essential for reducing stress. But what happens if you are disabled and can’t get out of the house…or live way out in rural country…or find it very difficult to make friends? I’m sure we could list many more situations that could interfere with one’s social life. Just over a decade ago, folks had to settle with loneliness or had to come up with very creative ways to interact with others. Today, in the age of instant information, as long as you have a way to get on-line, you have a way to make friends!

Around the turn of the century, as the Internet was becoming more and more popular, random people started writing weblogs – or blogs, for short. The author(s) could write whenever he or she wanted to (Can’t sleep? Write a tirade about Ugandan sweatshops at 2am!), as often as he or she wanted to. But that was just the beginning of what blogs would become. Soon after, free sites like blogger.com and WordPress introduced “search” features that would let the user find other blogs that related to them in geographical proximity, interests, and musical preferences, for example. It became almost impossible to be lonely!

For the most part, technology has been beneficial. It has streamlined everyday living and has made accessible things we never thought would be. But, as anyone who has waited in a line while “our computers are down,” will agree – it is far from perfect. Yet, as I think of my real friends – folks that I have come to know and enjoy – I am proud to include a few names of people that I have never met, at least not in person…yet.

6 thoughts on “The Impossibility of Loneliness

  1. I agree . I do find it interesting as being part of the over 45+ yr old crowd people would rather text you,email you or IM you than have an actual conversation. What happened to the days of conversing on the phone with a friend talking about the weeks events etc. Now if we do take a call it is short and sweet because we are too busy to take the time on spending time with the friend

  2. Shelley, I agree! I was just talking to a friend about how sad it is that our face to face “hang out” time is SO rare these days. Yet we can IM all evening long!! I think multi-tasking has ruined in person socialization.

  3. I agree, tech is not perfect tho I am grateful for Skype; it keeps me connected to my only daughter and 16 mo. granddaughter who are 3K miles away. It’s always great to see and hear them.
    As far as emailing/texting, well, it only goes so far. Emailing/text is still too impersonal. You can hide so many things…as an author you may write the message with your point of view but there is no guarantee that the receiver is going to “feel” the same message as it was “delivered” There is too much room for interpretation, since the reader cannot have the tactile experience of “hearing” the tone or “seeing” the body language.
    Thank goodness we still have phones…we need to take the time to sit back and call those friends, or handwrite a note or something to stay connected.
    Can you tell I’m an advocate of warm fuzzies, touch and feeling?
    Have a great day!

  4. Julie I think that’s great! My mom and I write back and forth. It’s nice getting a handwritten note in the mail. I’ve had so many people misinterpret texts because the tone wasn’t understood. I guess texts should b used for short and sweet messages!

  5. I’m in agreement with the others. I appreciate the value of technology for those isolated, whatever the reason. But I genuinely lament the fact that people seem to be losing the ability to relate to strangers and others alike. It feels like eye contact is even harder for people. And I’m big on eye contact! :) Somehow, there’s a piece of human sensibility that is a bit under threat right now on the broader scale. When we get back to eachother – to people we already know or are forced to relate to, our instincts kick in (or so I’d like to think). But when out in the big world, where civility and common sense is needed and called for, it feels like something is awry.

  6. You make an excellent point, Ms. Yoga! It does seem like human kindness is dwindling as far as day to day interactions go. People are rude and slow, and customer service is almost extinct! I’m like you -I want eye contact. It can be so frustrating when someone won’t look me in the eye…my training says that no eye contact=a good chance the person is being untruthful.

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