New Year’s Resolution

I recently came across a thought-provoking article on the New Scientist website entitledLoneliness is a modern epidemic in need of treatment’. I provide the link in case anyone wants to check the complete text, which I recommend.
However, I will focus on a quote from Robin Williams the article highlights. In 2009, he stated “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”
Sad as they were, I don’t need to remind you of the circumstances involving Robin’s premature passing. His words made me reflect on modern society in general and more specifically on technology and social media apps.
Nowadays, we live isolated from direct human contact even when surrounded by people. It is common to see people at restaurant tables engaged in long virtual conversations while ignoring the people sitting next to them. And I don’t mean people sitting at nearby tables; I refer to people sitting at the same table.
The biggest danger in situations like the one I described above is that we may not ‘feel’ the isolation until it is too late. Being surrounded by friends and family naturally gives us comfort and safety. But what if it is an illusion? What if these friends and family are too engrossed in texting or playing the latest trendy game to notice when we need them. What if it is too late when they look up and see we are not there?
Although I don’t play games on my cell phone or even my computer, I text and post on social media often so I am not preaching here. On the contrary, it’s a personal reflection I want to share with you because on the top of my New Year’s Resolutions List I included in capital letters – IN 2015, I WILL CONNECT MORE WITH PEOPLE – IN PERSON, NOT ONLY ON THE CYBERSPACE.
I invite you to try and do the same. Phone a friend and ask him or her about their day. They live too far, you say? No worries. There are many free opinions ONLINE to talk to people that doesn’t involve texting. Visit a relative you haven’t seen in a while. I bet they will be happy to see you. Your family lives abroad or in another state? No problems there either – video chat with them.
Technology can make us feel closer instead of isolated. It is up to us to use it wisely. 🙂
Liz Gavin

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