When this post first arrived in my drafts several months ago, it didn’t come with any extra detail or interesting information. It just simply existed. The title ‘Craving Connections’ must have just been something that was on my mind and honestly I don’t exactly remember why.
But now more than ever, it seems like a pandemic, not simply something that’s affecting me (though I must’ve believed it was just me at the time) but something that’s affecting society as a whole.
The more I delve into the subject of how we as humans want, need and even crave human attention and intimacy, the more I realise how social media, the internet and the entire technological revolution of the past decade has driven us away from just that.
Yes, I am incredibly aware of how much of a contradiction that sounds like. The one thing that has made connecting with billions of people around the world much easier has driven us away? How is that even possible?
Well it’s more than possible, not just when you realise that being able to connect with billions of people is slightly overwhelming and impossible to do alongside living your everyday life, but also that the more connections you have the more you have to maintain.
If we go all the way back to the lives to early humans in their close knit tribes, we see how important to have a connected community was, it was necessary for survival. As long as you were completing all the necessary tasks and not doing something out of the ordinary you’d be accepted, liked and most importantly, connected. Else you’d be thrown out, left to fend for yourself and unfortunately, die under sad circumstances.
That was the reality of life in the early days. And right now, things aren’t that much different.
Now of course, we don’t live in the age of tribes or having to do the same mundane tasks everyday just to survive. We as a human race and as individuals can do so much more and accomplish much more than we thought was ever possible.
But the one thing we still need is connection, compared to the early tribes where it was linked into the brain as a survival mechanism, much like the fight or flight mechanism, that need for belonging and intimacy is just as prevalent. Except when we are rejected from that communication, we feel it in a more psychological way, we may not die from not talking to a friend but we feel that sense of loneliness and loss.
And that’s where the pandemic comes in, despite the amount of connections being made everyday, the amount of friends you claim to have on the internet, we are all lonely and what’s worse is that we all feel it, or have felt it before.
This whole idea stemmed from the fact that over the past couple of years I’ve created and deactivated several Twitter accounts. I made a ton of lovely friends all of whom were the kindest people I ever had the chance of talking to, yet I still left.
I was lonely in my own life. Everyday these friends would send me heart emojis, hugs and messages that melted my heart but it just wasn’t the same as having a physical human intimate interaction. I know they never had horrible intentions, but it felt very on the surface and in a way something that didn’t affect me positively for very long.
Recently, I went though the exact same pattern. Yet this time I could identify why I was feeling so crappy, I was trying to replace the same human connections with virtual relationships, and now, in hindsight that was a terrible idea.
We’re human. We need the physical form of love, of attention, of close intimacy, and there’s nothing that can change that.
So instead of loading off all my problems onto these friends I’ve more of an effort to meet with real people, old friends, new friends and even family members. It’s making all the difference, and it’s shows how oftentimes we need to disconnect to reconnect.
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