“We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible… Yet within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation..We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are.” – from Atlantic: Is FACEBOOK Making Us Lonely?
The first thing I had to learn when I submerged myself in Internet culture back in 2005, is that virtual friends are, well, virtual.
This message came through even more clearly when I had a traumatic brain injury in 2008. Virtual friends won’t be coming by to help out or to discuss your injury. Best not to expect anything more than virtual concern.
A 2006 survey showed that American’s’ circle of close confidants has decreased dramatically in the past two decades, while the number of people who say they have no one with whom to discuss important life matters has more than doubled.
This study, published in the American Sociological Review, was the first national survey on this topic in 19 years. They also found the percentage of Americans who talk only to family members about important matters increased from 57% to 80% from 1985 to 2004.
After my own divorce back in 2001, I had recently moved, plus I worked 55 miles from my home. I suffered some serious loneliness and depression back then, which only expanded after I lost my job and career a few years later.
Human beings need HUMAN CONTACT, and that is not what the INTERNET provides. We need genuine, on the spot, caring and concern, the kind we can see in someone’s eyes when they love us.
That’s why I started writing my blog Midlife Crisis Queen, producing my various books and workbooks, and offering divorce and midlife counseling, to do what I can to make divorce, job loss or some combination of these human disasters somehow bearable.
I learned just how an epic midlife crisis can feel. I felt the depression of divorce and the shame of job loss, up-close and personal, and know how tough these can be to negotiate alone.
Allow yourself to admit defeat and ask for help.