Thought For The Week
"People seem to think that 'connecting' with people on social media is the answer to loneliness but neither Facebook, Instagram nor Twitter can help you when you're in a crisis. They can't hug you when you're crying or hold your hand when you're worried." ~Sinead Moriarty
Loneliness is a common human experience. This means that for all of us we experience loneliness at some stage, sometimes for a short while and sometimes much longer. We are social human beings by nature and we crave for belonging, companionship and friendship. Never before have we such access to information and making contact with people. But today it seems many people are unhappy and many would say they are lonely.
Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected or alienated from other people. There is a lack of meaningful human contact. You don't have to be alone to be lonely. It is possible to be lonely in a room full of people or lonely even living with someone. It would seem that the world we live in today nurtures loneliness. An example might be shopping. Before everything was bought at the local corner shop, you met your neighbours, chatted to the shopkeeper, heard the local news and you felt connected to your community. Today big sweeping shopping centres are the norm where everyone just drifts around the aisles, without perhaps even talking to a single person. If you really want to guarantee no human contact, all you have to do is just shop exclusively online.
Social Media is the new form of communication. While many enjoy connecting with other people this way and most of it good, it can come across sometimes as shallow or even false. Why is there a need to share only our best selves online? Only the best photos are put up, only the best times are shared, giving the impression that our lives are perfect or need to be perfect. If we are always trying to live up to these very high standards, of course we are going to fall short and feel lonely. If all our friends are leading these fabulous lives it can make you feel isolated or inferior. But sometimes it's ok to feel not ok; it's ok to have a bad day and its ok to look just ordinary. At the heart of many our Gospel stories we find Jesus helping people who were lonely to reconnect with themselves, helping them reconnect with their families and community. We need to do a lot more reconnecting and in particular to everything that is good, wholesome, healthy, relaxing, ordinary, simple, uplifting and enjoyable. Where can you start this week?