Why are we more isolated than ever? Is it by choice?
Even prior to the 2020 pandemic, our level of isolation and distance from each other has been the norm for some time now. Is it social media? Internet culture? Streaming services?
ARE WE HAPPIER AT A SOCIAL DISTANCE?
With people living virtually and vicariously through a screen, the “need” to actually connect with others in real life has taken a downturn.
Where has this led us to?
According to the stats – plenty of suffering.
From deep loneliness and depression, to social anxiety and panic, to excessive drug and alcohol consumption, to complete emotional disconnect and apathy, to increased suicide rates. It’s all of this, and then some.
ISOLATION IS THE NEW NORM.
How can it be that you can feel completely alone in a roomful of “friends”? Why are we indifferent to connecting and committing to other people in real life? And does it matter?
By nature, we are social beings. We have an innate need to connect with our fellow individuals. Even the most introverted of us have an inner need to connect, to relate with others, so be it, a select few. Personal connection and relationships are crucial to our well-being. Our individual health is rooted in our ability to connect with others and form balanced, meaningful relationships. This is why we begin socializing children even before they can speak coherently. The importance of sharing, relating with one another and connecting is essential to our growth. And this doesn’t stop in adulthood.
As adults, some of us may not make an effort to meet as many new people or be as social as we once were, but the need to relate and connect with each other is just as important nevertheless. The hazard of isolation is that there can be such a thing as too much time alone. This can lead us to essentially live inside our minds, our own personal bubble, and lose a sense of reality outside of this space. On the other hand, there is also a danger in spending too much time socializing and not enough time in seclusion whereas one may lose themselves, their own thoughts and energy, in the act of exhausting it with others.
ISOLATION AND TIME TO SELF-REFLECT IS IMPORTANT, BUT THERE MUST BE A BALANCE OF BOTH – TIME TO SECLUDE, AND TIME TO SOCIALIZE.
It is fairly typical for us, especially as adults, to struggle with this balance which inadvertently affects our relationships. In this time of collective isolation, it is important that we stay cognisant of this and make an active effort to maintain our ability to connect with others, as well as nurture our existing relationships.
If this is something you are currently experiencing, visit our program page under RELATIONSHIP BUILDING + CORE VIRTUES. We have an immersive section that deals with the balance of self maintenance and relationship building with many core principles around this that are sensible and practical in applying to your life.