“If we are not able to be alone, we are only going to know how to be lonely.” - Sherry Turkle on TEDTalks 'Connected but alone?'
Relationships. They are what our ego relies on at a fundamental level, providing the reassurance from others that we are valid human beings. We live for intimacy. It is the reason why we absent-mindedly sleep on one side of the bed rather than straight down the middle. Whilst we are undeniably social, intimacy faces a number of problems within this generation. This article could go anywhere from the social affects of technology to the logical reasoning behind our constant need for intimacy. Stick with me as we may cover a bit of both.
What is interesting to note about the human mind is what elaborate and complex synaptic connections we create. The brain and the Universe has been compared considerably by scientists to demonstrate its similarities. Not only do our neurons create pathways and connections in the same manner that stars create clusters, but uncanny visual similarities occur in an immense number of instances such as the birth of a cell and the death of a star. Outer space serves as an analogy as to the number of connections and changes constantly in motion within our brains. Some theorists have even gone so far as to say our brains are a Universe.
It is no surprise that more and more individuals are claiming loneliness. Despite pathological improvements in the mental health arena, the prevalence of depression and anxiety is overwhelmingly high. We are shown to be in an age that highly values self-actualisaed individuality. The problem with this focus is that individuality faces tensions within the confines of social groups. Whilst groups are shown to be growing more connected via numbers; they are becoming less intimate via emotional interrelations. The documentation of being social may be seen as becoming more pertinent than the social encounters themselves. Experiences are being shared to the point where they are becoming less about the experience and more about the satisfaction from immediate sharing capabilities. Endless self-promotion on social media becomes a requirement for not only career success, but to amplify the feeling of belongingness.
Whilst synapses in our brain create forms of logical reasoning within us, our social selves are capable of being completely irrational. Not only do we let mundane details of others affect how we feel about ourselves, but we are attracted and are drawn to people who may not make rational sense to us. Additionally, the people we are drawn to can have such a deep and profound sense on us that they may infringe upon conducting ourselves as rational mannered people. It should be noted that whilst we are insanely rational in trying to compartmentalise and assign meaning to everything we come into contact with, love is completely irrational. No intellectual intelligence will likely ever hold the capabilities of love as it completely goes against rationality. Whilst we can logically formulate the reasons why we require love, we let people who do not know us at all dictate the way we feel about ourselves. Completely irrational. And not justified.
So what is the point? We need to do ourselves the favour of being aware of these issues. It is a hell of a confusing time. We strive for individuality within community. Transcendence within spiritual atheism. Love within self-reliance. Self-assurance within social media. Passive within active.
I vouch for the dedication to being alone rather than lonely; rational rather than irrational and intimate rather than connected.