It seems to be a really strange time in our world right now. People are more connected to others than ever via social media, yet feeling more alone than ever before. Our lonely isolation is not only harmful to our self esteem & confidence, but to our level of happiness and contentment with the lives we’ve created. I’ve often joked with friends that I’d like to create an instagram page where I only put up the imperfect or embarrassing things that happen in life- it would be filled with pictures of cellulite, my child’s horrendous outfit they chose to wear on picture day, our dirty dishes and unmade beds – things that tend to be way more real than the picture perfect images we are inundated with on social media. The lives people are portraying aren’t real, not all the time. Sure, we all have bright moments, but most people’s lives are a balance of light and dark. We are raising a new generation to believe photoshopping images of themselves is normal, that everyone else is constantly on vacation, that they are the only ones with imperfect lives. I am an adult and this is difficult to deal with at moments- I can’t imagine being a child navigating these confusing waters of altered reality, and disconnectedness. So, what can we do?
For me, face to face time with people I care about is really important. Because of social media and the snippets of information that we are receiving, we tend to believe that we know what’s going on with people, so we don’t check in with them. I’m noticing that friendships have shifted, because we aren’t as intertwined as we used to be. We don’t call each other anymore- we even think it’s kind of strange or invasive if someone calls us. This is comical. Yet, my friendships have suffered as communication and connection can’t be maintained when you aren’t talking to someone. This may seem quite obvious, but text messages cannot maintain a friendship. Relationships take work and effort. We all know 150 people sort-of, but often we are lacking really deep relationships where we feel safe enough to be ourselves, be honest, be vulnerable and grow together. We are missing the togetherness of life. And I think we are all aching for it. So yesterday I made the commitment to myself to call people. To put in the effort, to push past the discomfort of reaching out and being “weird” for calling someone, but it’s worth it. I’d rather really connect to less people, but connect more.