Here lately, I’ve really been interested in the idea of human connectivity. It seems like many of the books I’m reading and the movies I’m watching are centered on the same idea – that we are all indeed connected. With FaceBook raging and the internet more vast than ever before, why don’t we feel more connected? Sure, I can write a message to a friend on Facebook or send a photo via photo stream on my iPhone, but somewhere along the way, that human element of connectivity gets lost in the digital translation.
As much as I love and appreciate digital technology and the advances made in the way of connecting with one another, I think it also serves to drive us toward increased independence, taking us away from the vital interdependence of community. It serves to explain how someone can have 5000 FaceBook ‘Friends’ and 10000 Twitter followers, yet go to sleep lonely at night. On an numerical, intellectual level, we are most certainly more connected. However, on the raw, emotional level, we are more disconnected than ever.
I think we all would be more happy, find more satisfaction in life and be more optimistic about the future if we took more time (and effort, because it does require more vulnerability) to stop chasing friends online and start meeting more people face to face. There’s something that happens in the physical space when two people are in the same room – heartbeats are vibrating the air, each breath shares the oxygen present, a smile is reciprocated with a smile and the most important element of all once again, becomes possible… eye contact. Of all the shared elements that accompany face to face interactions, the opportunity to look someone in the eye creates a connection that no internet, Facebook like, Twitter pic or Instagram message will ever be able to recreate.
It says, “I See You, You See Me” and as a species that craves love and belongingness, this is what we all need a little more of in our lives. I challenge you to meet someone new, connect with an old friend or just sit down and have a real conversation with a family member. You may be surprised how these interactions charge your energy and uplift your spirit. After all, there is no reason to ever feel lonely in a world full of people, all searching for a Friend.